Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Pioneers on land and sea; stories of the eastern states and of ocean explorers"

See other formats





Pioneers on Land and Sea 



Pioneers on Land and Sea 







All rights reserved 


Set up, electrotyped and published March, 1904. 
Reprinted September, 1904; January, July, November, 
1905 ; January, 1908 ; March, 1909 ; January, August, 
1911; September, 1912; March, 1913; January, 1915; 
February, September, 1916. 



THIS is the first of three volumes of American History 
Stories for use in intermediate grades. It contains the 
accounts of the early explorers and frontiersmen along 
the Atlantic coast and of the voyages of the great ocean 
pioneers. They deal with great events and persons in 
the simple setting of pioneer life. 

The importance of these stories to American children 
in the intermediate grades is now fully seen. In the 
simple and interesting form of personal biography they 
photograph the liveliest scenes of our early history. 
European teachers may well envy us this copious stream 
of pioneer story. No European country has anything 
that can be safely compared with it in richness and 

The myths and early traditions of Europe we are 
making good use of in our schools, but in entering upon 
the field of real history, the pioneer and frontier life of 
America abounds in the striking scenes of simple folk- 
life in its rude beginnings. It is easy for children to 
lose themselves in this frontier scenery and to partake 
of its spirit. 


These narratives are based on the most trustworthy 
historical documents, source materials which have been 
tested by our best historians, as Parkman, Fiske, Ban- 
croft, Ha^t, and others. Some of the narratives are 
taken directly from undoubted source materials, the 
testimony of eye-witnesses and chief actors. 

In connection with the story of Champlain the teacher 
should read Parkman's "Pioneers of France in the New 
World," from which some quotations are made. 

In working, up the stories of Columbus, Magellan, and 
Cortes, John Fiske's two volumes on "The Discovery of 
America" have been freely consulted and occasionally 
quoted. Fiske's " Dutch and Quaker Settlements " and 
" Old Virginia and Her Neighbors " have also been used 
m the stories of Hudson and John Smith. 

If the use of these stories in schools should lead 
teachers and children to a closer acquaintance with the 
full works of Parkman and Fiske it would be a very 
fortunate result. 

Scudder's " Life of Washington," from which much of 
the story of Washington's early life is derived, is probably 
the best biography of him for grammar grades, and 
should become familiar to all the children in our schools ; 
likewise the Fiske-Irving "Life of Washington." 

The chronology of history stories in the pioneer period 
is of little consequence to the children. A first-class 


story, full and rich in local color, personal and concrete 
in its whole setting, is desired. Two or three years later, 
in the grammar grades, these stories will find their proper 
place and connections in a chronological outline. 

Maps are required at every step in these stories. They 
are necessary not only to a proper understanding of the 
stories, but they illuminate the whole early geography of 
North America and contribute much interest to the 
parallel lessons in American geography in these grades. 

For children of the eastern states these .stories, which 
are nearest home, are the best beginnings of history. 
The two following volumes, " Pioneers of the Mississippi 
Valley " and " Pioneers of the Rocky Mountains and the 
West" are the natural continuation of the series. 

The " Special Method in History " in Chapter III dis- 
cusses in full the value of these stories and the method 
of handling them in classes. 

October 2, 1903. 












X. PONCE DE LEON . . . . . . . . 222 





EARLY QUEBEC ........... 33 



SIR WALTER RALEIGH .......... 53 




POCAHONTAS .... ........ 96 


CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH .......... 108 

INDIANS FISHING ........... 120 

COLUMBUS .......... '.. 123 


THE FLEET OF COLUMBUS ......... 136 



MAGELLAN . ........... 161 

CORTES .... ......... 187 






GEORGE WASHINGTON .......... 251 



THE WORLD . Frontispiece 


THE MOUTH OF THE ST. LAWRENCE . . . . ... . 8 










Pioneers on Land and Sea 




SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN, who has been called the Father 
of New France, was a French soldier of noble family. 
His first voyage to New France was made in 1603, 
when he explored the St. Lawrence River as far as the 
Rapids above Montreal. He tried to pass these, known 
as the Rapids of St. Louis, in a skiff, but was forced to 
return. On the deck of his vessel the Indians made 
rude plans or maps of the river above, with its chain 
of rapids, its lakes and cataracts. Champlain turned 
toward home but resolved to visit this country at some 
future time. 

The next year he came again. This time, with the 
vessel in which the voyage from France was made, he 
explored the Bay of Fundy. After sailing around the 
head of the Bay of Fundy, he visited and named the 
St. John River and then went to Passamaquoddy Bay. 
Champlain made maps of all the coast and harbors. His 

1 Authority : Parkman's " Pioneers of France in the New World." 

B 1 


friend De Monts, to whom the king of France had given 
all the land from Montreal to the Delaware, wanted to 
make a settlement far' her south than the St. Lawrence, 
to avoid the extreme cold of the winters. At the mouth 
of the St. Croix River an island was selected as a site for 
the new colony. It commanded the river and was well 
fitted for defence, but the soil was poor, the place was 
not so far south as they thought, and not well located 
for the trade in furs which they expected to carry on. 

Everybody went to work, and before winter began the 
cedars which covered the island were cut away and many 
houses were built. There were several dwellings, store- 
houses, a magazine, workshops, and a barrack for the 
Swiss soldiers that had accompanied the expedition. The 
whole was enclosed with a palisade. 

When the work of preparing for winter was done, part 
of the company returned to France. Seventy -nine men 
remained behind, among them Champlain, De Monts, 
and several other gentlemen of noble birth. The winter 
was a bitter one. 

While De Monts was getting things settled upon the 
island, on the second of September he sent Champlain 
on an exploring trip along the coast of Norumbegue 
(Maine). With a bark of seventeen or eighteen tons, two 
Indian guides, and a dozen men, Champlain was in high 
spirits as he set out. They found the coast full of islands, 


bold, rocky, and irregular, and coming in sight of a large 
island rising into barren summits, lie called it Mount 
Desert. Its cool groves and fresh sea air have made it 
in recent years a great resort for summer tourists. Wind- 
ing in and out among the islands, they entered the mouth 
of the Penobscot River. Up this stream they passed till 
they came to the fall just above the present city of Ban go r, 
which stopped their further passage. The banks and hill- 
sides were clothed with tall pines and stout oak trees. 
Along the river were a few deserted wigwams, but on the 
shores of Penobscot Bay there were many Indians, who 
proved friendly, entering into trade with beaver skins. 

The weather now proved bad and as provisions were 
low, the party returned to the mouth of the St. Croix. 

Great cakes of ice swept by their island with the ebb- 
ing and flowing tide, often shutting off their supplies of 
wood and water. Icy winds swept through their rude 
houses and they shivered round their ill-kept fires, for 
wood from the mainland was very difficult to get. Soon 
scurvy broke out and before spring thirty-five died and 
many more were left weak and exhausted. Cham plain 
did all he could to help and encourage the discontented 
survivors and was still unwilling to give up his plans for 
discovery and settlement. 

After the severe winter was past and fresh supplies 
from France had arrived, Champlain and De Monts set 


out for a still further examination of the coast of Maine 
and New England. With twenty sailors, two Indians, 
and some gentlemen, they started the 18th of June to 
search for a better location for a settlement. Passing 
by Mount Desert and the mouth of the Penobscot, they 
reached the entrance to the Kennebec. They sailed 
along both sides of the broad bay, meeting some Indians, 
but finding poor soil and no good point for a settle- 
ment. They anchored in sight of Old Orchard Beach, 
now become famous as a watering-place. Crossing the 
bar with the rising tide, they anchored at Saco, near 
the mouth of the river, where the natives came down 
to see them with strong signs of rejoicing. Fields of 
waving corn, beans, pumpkins, and squashes in bloom, 
and heavily laden grapevines along the river, were seen. 
The Indians were graceful and agile, living mostly upon 
vegetables and corn, and upon fish which were caught 
by them in abundance at the mouth of the river. 

After two days spent at Saco, they passed on and saw 
the islands at Cape Porpoise covered with wild currants 
upon which great flocks of wild pigeons were feasting. 
Many of these birds were taken, and these gave the 
Frenchmen a much-relished addition to their fare. 

Casting anchor on the east side of Cape Ann, a few 
Indians were seen and Champlain went on shore. After 
winning the confidence of the natives by gifts, Cham- 


plain took a piece of drawing-paper and crayon and out- 
lined the coast as far as they could see and suggested 
to the Indians that they complete the sketch beyond. 
Seizing the crayon, one of the Indians continued to draw 
on the same paper the map of Massachusetts Bay. The 
Indians also indicated, by setting pebbles, that the bay 
was occupied by six tribes. This was probably the first 
drawing lesson that was ever given in an outdoor school 
in Massachusetts. July 16 the Frenchmen sailed into 
Boston harbor and were delighted with the scenery pre- 
sented by the islands and shores, waving with corn-fields 
or shaded by tall forests. The clumsy log canoe of the 
Indians was here seen for the first time. The sail-boat 
of the explorers was perhaps the first that ever entered 
Massachusetts Bay. The shores were soon lined with 
many natives watching curiously this white-winged vessel, 
moving quietly along without oars. Jumping into their 
small canoes, they followed the departing Frenchmen a 
short distance. 

Passing on down the shore, the explorers were at length 
driven into a small harbor to await a more favorable 
breeze. The French noticed that the Indians had just 
been fishing for cod, which they caught with hook and 
line much as in our day, a piece of barbed bone fastened 
to a stick serving as a hook, and the line being made of 
a grassy fibre growing in this region. Champlain went 


on shore and made a sketch of the harbor, by which we 
are able to tell that it is the harbor of Plymouth, 
where the Pilgrims landed fifteen years later. 

After spending a day at Plymouth the Frenchmen 
passed in a circle around the bay till they reached the 
white sands of Cape Cod, which they named Cape Blanc. 
But it had been visited before by Gosnold, who named 
it Cape Cod. Sailing down outside of Cape Cod, they 
reached and passed into Nauset harbor, where were 
many Indian huts. Entering this large bay July 22, they 
found many cone-shaped wigwams covered with thatch, 
with an opening for smoke. In the cultivated fields were 
beans, corn, pumpkins, radishes, and tobacco, and the 
woods contained hickory, oak, and cedar. The Indians 
were friendly. The weather was chilly and a cold east 
wind kept them four days in the harbor. 

At this place they had the first hostile meeting with 
Indians. Some white men had gone ashore with brass 
kettles for fresh water. The Indians were very desirous 
of securing these. As one of the men stooped down to 
fill the kettle at a spring, an Indian seized it and started 
off. This led to a struggle and the Indian arrows flew 
thick, striking the white man and soon killing him. The 
Indians made off with the kettle into the woods. 

Soon the other Indians came forward to explain that 
they had no share in this matter and Champlain had to 


accept their statement rather than to run the risk of 
inflicting punishment upon the innocent. 

The voyagers had been gone five weeks and it was 
time to turn back. On their return trip they stopped 
at Saco and at the mouth of the Kennebec. At the 
latter point they met an Indian sachem who told them 
that a vessel had stopped at this place and, while pre- 
tending friendship, had seized five Indians and had 
killed or carried them off. From the description Cham- 
plain concluded that it was an English ship. From other 
sources we know that Captain George Weymouth, com- 
manding an English vessel, explored this coast in June, 
1605, and carried off five Indians as captives. He was 
seeking for a suitable location for a colony to be sent out 
by an English company. From this time on for many 
years the French and English were rivals in making 
settlements and gaining possession of the country along 
the shores of New England and Canada. 

As the explorers had found no place to the south on this 
journey where they wished to make a settlement, De Monts 
decided to move to Port Royal now Annapolis where 
they had noted the beautiful inlet the year before. Every- 
thing that could be moved was put on board the ves- 
sels, carried across the Bay of Fundy, and landed at 
the chosen spot. Everybody was set to work and soon 
the buildings of the new colony took the place of the 



dense forest that had been cut down. When all was 
done, De Monts went to France, but Champlain decided 

to spend another winter 
with the colony. 

This winter was not so 
severe as the one at St. 
Croix but the colonists 
were glad to welcome the 
ship which brought more 
people and supplies late 
in the f olio win & summer. 


Soon after the return of this vessel to France, Champlain 
set out on another voyage of discovery. He went as 
far south as the southern coast of Massachusetts but 
then had to return, as the winter was close at hand. 

During his absence the men at the fort had been busy 
with their crops, raising a good supply of maize, as well 
as some barley, wheat, and rye. These, with the supplies 
brought from France, provided a good store of food for 
the winter. Champlain devised a plan whereby their 
table might always be supplied. The chief men in the 
colony numbered fifteen. Champlain formed them into 
an order of Knighthood which he called the " Order of 
Good Times," and each member was to be, in turn, 
Grand Master for a day. The Grand Master was not 
only to see to the furnishing of food but was to super 


intend the cooking and serving. Each wished to excel 
the others, so for several days before his turn each would 
spend his time hunting and fishing, or bartering with the 
Indians for food. The colonists had venison, bear and 
grouse, ducks, geese, and plover, as well as all kinds of 
fish, to eat with their bread and dried beans. 

When the hour for dinner was struck they dined at 
noon " the Grand Master entered the hall, a napkin 
on his shoulder, his staff of office in his hand, and the 
collar of the Order about his neck." The brotherhood 
followed, each bearing a dish. The invited guests were 
Indian chiefs, seated at the table with the French, who 
enjoyed the companionship of the Indians. Those of hum- 
bler degree warriors, squaws, and children sat on the 
floor, eagerly awaiting their share of biscuit or bread, a 
novel and much-coveted luxury. These Indians, always 
treated kindly, became very fond of the French, who 
often followed them on their great hunts. 

In the evening, when the big fires roared and the 
sparks flew up the wide chimneys, the French and their 
Indian friends drew round the blaze and the Grand 
Master gave up his staff and collar to his successor. 
With such sports the French passed away the long winter. 
With good fare and entertainment there was but little 
sickness and only four deaths occurred. 

In 1607 the French king took away De Monts' charter, 


and the colony was deserted. The French settlers had 
been so kind to the Indians that, when the last boat- 
load left Port Royal, the shore resounded with lamen- 
tations and nothing could console the afflicted savages 
but promises of a speedy return. 

In 1608 two ships, one commanded by Champlain, the 
other by Pontgrave, again crossed the ocean to New 
France. Pontgrave was to trade with the Indians and 
bring back the cargo of furs which, it was hoped, would 
meet the expenses of the voyage. Champlain left Pont- 
grave at Port Eoyal to trade with the Indians and sailed 
up the St. Lawrence as far as Quebec. Here a small 
stream, the St. Charles, enters the St. Lawrence and in 
the angle between them rises a promontory, on two sides a 
natural fortress. In a few weeks a pile of wooden build- 
ings rose on the brink of the St. Lawrence. " A strong 
wooden wall, surmounted by a gallery loop-holed for 
musketry, enclosed three buildings containing quarters for 
Champlain and his men, together with a courtyard, from 
one side of which rose a tall dove-cot, like a belfry. A 
moat surrounded the whole, and two or three small can- 
non were planted on platforms toward the river." 

After spending a winter in. Quebec, Champlain decided 
to join a war party of Indians. A young Ottawa chief 
had begged him to join his tribe against the Iroquois. 
The Troquois lived in fortified villages in what is now the 

90* Longitude West from Greenwich 



state of New York and were thought the most fierce of 
the Indian tribes of the East. The Algonquins, with 
allied tribes, lived along the St. Lawrence and in the 
country north of the river and the Great Lakes. Their 
allies, the Huron s, belonged to the Iroquois family but 
had refused to join the other tribes when the latter united 
against the Algonquins. As the French had shown great 
friendship for the Algonquins near their colonies, the Iro- 
quois were naturally hostile toward the French. By join- 
ing the Hurons and the Algonquins, Charaplain thought 
he would be able to make discoveries without much danger 
to himself. 

It was past the middle of June when the tribes from 
the north reached Quebec. Many of them had never seen 
a white man and they looked at the steel-clad strangers 
with speechless wonder. Eleven Frenchmen joined Cham- 
plain. They were armed with short guns called the 
arquebuse. They started up the river in a small sail-boat, 
" while around them the river was alive with canoes, and 
hundreds of naked arms plied the paddle with a steady 
measured sweep." They went up the river to the mouth 
of the Eichelieu. Here they camped for two days, 
hunted, fished, and took their ease. The Indians quar- 
relled and three-fourths of their number seceded and pad- 
dled toward their homes. The rest of the party went on 
up the stream. Champlain soon outsailed the canoes and 


thought he would push on without them, but was stopped 
by rapids in the river. The Indians had told him that 
his boat could sail the whole distance to the land they 
wished to reach but he found that he could not get the 
boat over the rapids, and sent it, with the greater part of 
the men, back to Quebec. Only two white men went on 
with him. 

u The warriors lifted their canoes from the water, and 
in long procession through the forest, under the flickering 
sun and shade, bore them on their shoulders around the 
rapids to the smooth stream above. Here the chiefs 
made a muster of their forces, counting twenty-four 
canoes and sixty warriors. They advanced once more up 
the river, by marsh, meadow, forest, and scattered islands, 
then full of game, for it was an uninhabited land, the 
war-path and battle-ground of hostile tribes." Some were 
in front as a vanguard ; others formed the main body ; 
while an equal number were in the forests on the flanks 
and rear, hunting food for all. They carried with them 
parched maize ground into meal, but kept it for use while 
near the enemy, when hunting would become impossible. 

" Late in the day they landed and drew up their 
canoes, ranging them closely side by side. Some stripped 
sheets of bark to cover their camp-sheds ; others gathered 
wood ; others felled trees for a barricade. They seem to 
have had steel axes which they had gotten from the 


French, for in less than two hours they had a strong 
defensive work, open on the river side, and large enough 
to enclose all their huts and sheds. Some of their number 
were sent forward as scouts, and returning, said they saw 
no signs of the enemy." At night they placed no guard 
but all lay down to sleep, the usual custom of the lazy 
warriors of the forest. 

" The next morning the canoes again advanced, the 
river widening as they went. Great islands were seen, 
and soon Champlain entered the lake which now bears 
his name. Passing on, he saw on the left the forest ridges 
of the Green Mountains, and on the right rose the Adi- 
rondacks. These the Iroquois made their hunting- 
grounds ; and beyond, in the valleys of the Mohawk, the 
Onondaga, and the Genesee stretched the long line of 
their palisaded towns. 

" They were so near the home of the enemy that they 
now moved only in the night. One morning in July, after 
paddling all night, they hid as usual in the forest. That 
night Champlain dreamed that he saw Iroquois drowning 
in the lake. Now he had been asked daily by his allies for 
his dreams, for the Indians had great faith in them, but 
to this moment his slumbers had been unbroken and 
he had had nothing to tell. This dream filled the crowd 
with joy, and at nightfall they went on their way, happy 
with thoughts of victory. 


"It was ten o'clock in the evening when, near the 
present site of Ticonderoga, they saw dark objects in 
motion on the lake before them. These were the Iroquois 
canoes, heavier and slower than theirs, for they were 
made of oak bark. Each party saw the other, and the 
mingled war-cries pealed over the darkened water. The 
Iroquois landed and began to barricade themselves. 
Champlain could see them in the woods, working like 
beavers, hacking down trees with iron axes taken from 
Canadian tribes in war, and with stone hatchets of their 
own making. The allies remained on the lake, a bow- 
shot from the hostile barricade, their canoes made fast 
together by poles lashed across. All night they danced 
with as much vigor as the frailty of their canoes would 
permit. It was agreed on both sides that the fight 
should not begin before daybreak, but meanwhile an ex- 
change of abuse, threats, and boasting gave increasing 
exercise to the lungs and fancy of the combatants, 
6 much,' says Champlain, < like the besiegers and besieged 
in a beleaguered town.' ' 

Early in the morning he and his two followers put on 
the light armor of the time. Champlain wore the doublet 
and long hose then in fashion. " Over the doublet he 
buckled on a breastplate and backpiece, while his thighs 
were covered by steel and his head by a plumed casque." 
Across his shoulder hung the strap of his ammunition 


box ; at his side was his sword and in his hand his gun 
which he had loaded with four balls. Each of the French- 
men was in a separate canoe, and as it grew light, they 
kept themselves hidden, either by lying at the bottom of 
their boats, or by covering themselves with an Indian 
robe. The canoes came near the shore and all landed at 
some distance from the Iroquois, whom they could see 
filing out of their barricade, some two hundred in number 
of the boldest and fiercest warriors of North America. 
Some carried shields of wood and hide and were covered 
with a kind of armor made of tough twigs fastened 
together with a vegetable fibre supposed by Champlain 
to be cotton. The chiefs wore tall plumes on their heads. 
" The allies, growing anxious, called with loud cries for 
Champlain, and opened their ranks that he might pass 
to the front. He did so, and the Iroquois stood looking 
at him in silent amazement. But his gun was levelled, 
the report rang through the woods, a chief fell dead, and 
another by his side rolled among the bushes. Then there 
rose from the allies a yell which would have drowned a 
thunderclap, and the forest was full of whizzing arrows. 
For a moment the Iroquois stood firm and sent back their 
arrows lustily, but when another and another gunshot 
came from the thickets on their flank, they broke and 
fled in terror. Swifter than hounds, the allies tore 
through the bushes after them. Some of the Iroquois 


were killed, more were taken. They left everything, 
canoes, provisions, and weapons, in their flight." 

The victors returned to the mouth of the Richelieu, 
reaching it in three or four days. Then the Hurons and 
Algonquins went to their home on the Ottawa, while 
Chaniplain, with the rest of the Indians, descended the 
St. Lawrence to Quebec. At parting, the northern tribes 
invited Champlain to visit their towns and aid them 
again in their wars. 

That winter, 1610, Champlain returned to France but 
came back in the spring to join the Indians against the 
common foe, the Iroquois. The tribes near Quebec prom- 
ised to show him the way to Hudson Bay and the 
Hurons were to take him to the Great Lakes, where rich 
mines of copper were to be found. The tribes were to 
meet at the mouth of the Richelieu. There is an island 
in the St. Lawrence near the mouth of this river. Here 
Champlain with the warriors from the neighborhood of 
Quebec stopped to wait for the Algonquin warriors. The 
Indians were busy cutting down trees and clearing the 
ground for a dance and feast, as they were eager to wel- 
come their allies with befitting honors. Some Indians 
came speeding down the river in a canoe. As they drew 
near they cried out that the Algonquins were in the 
forest fighting a hundred Iroquois warriors, who, out- 
numbered, had betaken themselves to a barricade of trees. 


The air was split with shrill outcries. " The Indians 
snatched their weapons, shields, bows, arrows, war- 
clubs, sword-blades made fast to poles, and pell-mell 
ran headlong to their canoes, screeching to Champlain 
to follow." 

Champlain and four of his men were in the canoes. 
They shot across the water, arid, as their boats touched 
the shore, each warrior flung down his paddle, snatched 
his weapons, and ran like a greyhound into the woods. 
The five Frenchmen followed but could not keep up 
with the Indians, who were soon out of sight and hear- 
ing. The day was warm and the forest air heavy and 
dense. The mosquitoes, says Champlain, were " so thick 
that we could scarcely draw breath, and it was wonder- 
ful how cruelly they persecuted us." The ground was 
swampy and the Frenchmen could hardly get along with 
their heavy armor. At length they saw two Indians 
running in the distance and shouted to them that if 
they wished for their aid they must guide them to the 

And now they could hear the shouts of the fighters 
and soon reached the battle-field. The barricade was 
made of trees piled into a circular breastwork, trunks, 
boughs, and matted leaves making a strong defence. 
The allies had attacked their enemy but had been driven 
back and were now waiting for the French. When the 


Indians saw them, a yell arose from hundreds of throats. 
A fierce answer came from the band within and amid a 
storm of arrows from both sides the Frenchmen threw 
themselves into the fight. The Iroquois had not gotten 
over their first fear of the guns and when the French- 
men ran up to the barricade, thrust their pieces through 
the crevices and shot death among the crowd within, 
they could not control their fright but with every re- 
port threw themselves flat on the earth. The allies, 
covered by their large shields, began to drag out the 
trees from the barricade, while others, under Cham- 
plain's direction, gathered like a dark cloud at the edge 
of the forest, ready to close the affair with a final rush. 
Some French traders, hearing the noise, joined in the 
attack. Champlain gave the signal ; the crowd ran to 
the barricade, dragged down the boughs or climbed over 
them, and bore themselves " so well and manfully " that 
they soon forced an entrance. Some of the Iroquois 
were cut down as they stood ; some climbed the barri- 
cade and were killed by the fierce crowd without ; some 
were drowned in the river ; while fifteen, the only ones 
left, were taken prisoners. 

On the next day a large band of Hurons arrived, 
much vexed that they had come too late. Hundreds of 
warriors were now assembled and a heavy blow had 
been struck at the enemy, but none thought of follow- 


ing up their success. Pleased with their unexpected 
good fortune, the}' danced and sang ; then loaded up 
their canoes and started for their homes. Champlain 
had fought their battles and might now claim the escort 
they had promised to the Great Lakes and to the coun- 
try to the north, but his colony needed supplies and he 
returned to France. 

Early in the spring Champlain came again to Que- 
bec but did not stay long, as he wanted to plant a 
colony at Montreal. This was the place that the Ind- 
ians passed yearly as they came south for trade or war. 
Here he wanted to get the advantage of the fur trade. 
But other traders followed and soon Montreal, or Place 
Royal, as Champlain called it, became the centre of the 
fur trade. 

"Down the surges of the St. Louis, where the mighty 
floods of the St. Lawrence, contracted to a narrow 
throat, roll in fury among the sunken rocks, here, 
through foam and spray and the roar of the angry tor- 
rent, a fleet of birch canoes came dancing like dry 
leaves on the froth of some riotous brook." They bore 
a band of Hurons, the first of the tribes at the usual 
meeting-place. As they drew near the landing, all the 
fur-traders' boats blazed forth a welcome which fright- 
ened the Indians so much that they hardly dared to 
come ashore. More soon appeared and hundreds of 


warriors were shortly encamped along the shore, all resi> 
less and afraid. Late one night they awakened Cham- 
plain. On going with them to their camp, he found 
the chiefs and warriors sitting around the fire. " Though 
they were fearful of the others, their trust in him was 
boundless. e Come to our country, buy our beaver, build 
a fort, teach us the true faith, do what you will, but 
do not bring this crowd with you/ ' They were afraid 
that this band of traders, all well armed, meant to at- 
tack and plunder and kill them. Champlain told them 
not to be afraid, but the camp soon broke up and the 
uneasy warriors moved to a place above the rapids. 
" Here Champlain visited them, and hence these fearless 
canoe-men, kneeling in the birchen egg-shells, carried 
him homeward down the rapids, somewhat, as he ad- 
mits, to the discomposure of his nerves." The great 
gathering soon broke up ; the traders returned to the 
trading-post nearer the mouth of the St. Lawrence ; 
the Indians went, some to their homes, some to fight 
the, Iroquois. Champlain could not go with them, as 
he had to return to France to get help for his colonies. 
The next year, 1612, Champlain was too busy in 
France to visit his colonies. This year a young man 
who had gone north with the Indians the year before 
and had spent the year with them, came to Paris with 
a tale of wonders. He said* that at the source of the 


Ottawa River he had found a great lake; that he had 
crossed it and discovered a river flowing northward ; 
that he had gone down this river and reached the 
shores of the sea; that here he had seen the wreck of 
an English ship, and that this sea was distant from 
Montreal but seventeen days by canoe. The story was 
told so clearly that Champlain believed it. His friends 
thought he ought to follow up this discovery, and he, 
thinking that at last the way to the Pacific and India 
had been found, was eager to go. Early in the spring 
of 1613 he again crossed the Atlantic and sailed up the 
St. Lawrence to Montreal. On Monday, the 27th of 
May, he started up the Ottawa with four Frenchmen, 
one of whom was the young man who had been north 
the year before, and one Indian, in two small canoes. 
They had to pass many rapids and the forest was so 
thick and tangled that they were forced to remain in 
the bed of the river, trailing their canoes along the 
bank with cords or pushing them by main force up 
the current. Champlain' s foot slipped, he fell in the 
rapids, two rocks against which he braced himself saving 
him from being swept down, while the cord of the 
canoe, twisted around his hand, nearly cut it off. At 
length they reached smoother water, where they met some 
friendly Indians. Champlain left one of his Frenchmen 
with them and took one of their number in return. 


After many days of hard travel the voyagers reached a 
lake where they saw a rough clearing. The trees had 
been partly burnt. Dead trunks, black with fire, stood 
grimly upright amid the stumps and fallen bodies of those 
half-burnt. In the spaces between, the soil had been 
scratched with hoes of wood or bone and a crop of maize 
was growing, now some four inches high. The houses, 
with frames of poles, covered with sheets of bark, were 
scattered here and there. The Indians ran to the shore 
to see the strangers. Warriors stood with their hands 
over their mouths, the Indian way of showing astonish- 
ment ; squaws stared, both curious and afraid ; naked 
pappooses screamed and ran. The chief offered the calu- 
met and then spoke to the crowd. " These white men 
must have fallen from the clouds. How else could they 
have reached us through the woods and rapids which even 
we find it hard to pass ? The French chief can do any- 
thing. All that we have heard of him must be true." 

Champlain asked to be guided to the settlements above 
and with a number of his new-found friends he advanced 
beyond the head of Lake Coulange, and landing, saw path- 
ways through the forest. They led to the clearing and 
to the cabins of a chief named Tessouat, who gave the 
Frenchmen a friendly welcome and prepared to give a 
feast in Champlain's honor. " Runners were sent to invite 
the guests from neighboring villages, and on the morrow 


Tessouat' s squaws swept his cabin for the festivity. Then 
Champlain and his Frenchmen were seated on skins in the 
place of honor and the naked guests appeared, each with 
his wooden dish and spoon and each giving his guttural 
salute as he stooped at the low door. The wisdom and 
prowess of the nation sat expectant on the bare earth. 
Each long, bare arm thrust forth its dish in turn as the 
host served out the banquet. First, a mess of pounded 
maize wherein were boiled, without salt, morsels of fish 
and dark' scraps of meat ; then fish and flesh broiled on 
the embers, with a kettle of cold water from the river." 
After the feast, pipes were smoked and Champlain asked 
the Indians to furnish him with four canoes and eight 
men to take him to the country north. Now Tessouat 
was not friendly toward the tribes to the north, and 
answered Champlain : " We always knew you for our 
best friend among the Frenchmen. We love you like our 
own children. But why did you break your word with us 
last year when we all went down to meet you at Montreal 
to give you presents and go with you to war ? You were 
not there, but other Frenchmen were there, who abused us. 
We will never go again. As for the four canoes, you shall 
have them if you insist upon it, but it grieves us to think 
of the hardships you must endure." 

Champlain, fearing that he would not get his canoes, 
told Tessouat that the young man with him had been to 


this country and did not find the road nor the people so bad 
as he had said. Tessouat asked the young man whether 
that were true. The impostor sat mute for a short time, 
then said, " Yes, I have been there." " You are a liar," 
returned the host. " You know very well that you slept 
here among my children every night and rose again every 
morning ; and if you ever went where you pretend to have 
gone, it must have been when you were asleep. How can 
you be so impudent as to lie to your chief, and so wicked 
as to risk his life among so many dangers?" 

Champlain, greatly disturbed, led the young man from 
the cabin and begged him to tell the truth. At first he 
declared that all that he had said was true but finally 
broke down, owned his treachery, and begged for mercy. 
The Indians wanted Champlain to have him killed at 
once and offered to perform that office for him ; but 
Champlain, who had promised the young man his life if 
he would tell the truth, protected him. 

As there was now no motive for further advance, the 
party set forth on their return, attended by a fleet of forty 
canoes bound to Montreal for trade. Champlain returned 
to France. 

It was near the end of May in 1615 when Champlain 
again reached Quebec. With him came four Recollet 
friars to found missions in the New World. A convent 
was built for them near the fortified dwellings of Cham- 


plain. One of the friars had gone at once to Montreal, 
where the Indians had come for their yearly trade. 
Champlain soon joined him. The Indians begged him to 
go with them against the Iroquois. He agreed to do so 
but first returned to Quebec. After a short delay he came 
back to Montreal, to find the place deserted. Impatient 
at his delay, the Indians had gone home, and with them 
went the friar and twelve well-armed Frenchmen. 

Champlain, with two canoes, ten Indians, and two 
Frenchmen, followed up the stream. He passed the vil- 
lage of Tessouat and two lakes in the river here. For 
twenty miles the Ottawa runs straight as the bee can fly 
deep, narrow, and black between its mountain shores. 
Then came a series of rapids and at last the party reached 
a small tributary of the Ottawa coining in from the west. 
This they ascended forty miles or more, then crossing a 
portage track, well trodden, stood on the shore of Lake 
Nipissing. Crossing the lake, they entered French River 
and floated westward to the great fresh-water sea of the 
Hurons. For more than a hundred miles they followed 
the eastern shore of this lake, and at last landed where an 
Indian trail led inland. To the eye of Champlain this 
land seemed one of beauty and abundance. There was a 
broad opening in the forest, there were fields of maize, 
pumpkins ripening in the sun, patches of sunflowers, from 
the seeds of which the Indians made hair-oil, and in the 


midst lay the great town of the Hurons. It was sur- 
rounded by a palisade of crossed tree trunks, and the 
long lodges were made of bark, each containing many 

All were glad to see Champlain, as they thought him 
the champion who was to lead them to victory. There 
was bountiful feasting in his honor. But Champlain soon 
tired of the idleness of an Indian town and with some of 
his Frenchmen visited in three days five palisaded towns. 
" The country delighted them : its meadows, its deep 
woods, its pine and cedar thickets, full of hares and par- 
tridges, its wild grapes and plums, cherries, crab-apples, 
nuts, and raspberries." 

The warriors were beginning to gather. It was now 
the middle of August. " Feasts and the war-dance con- 
sumed the days, till at last the tardy bands had all 
arrived. Shouldering their canoes and scanty baggage, the 
naked host set out." At the outlet of Lake Simcoe 
they all stopped to fish. It was the 8th of September 
when the Huron fleet crossed Lake Simcoe, went up the 
little river Talbot, across the portage to Balsam Lake, 
and down the chain of lakes which form the sources of 
the river Trent. 

" They stopped and encamped for a deer-hunt. Five 
hundred men, in line, like the skirmishers of an army 
advancing to battle, drove the game to the end of a 


woody point ; and the canoe-men killed them with spears 
and arrows as they took to the river. 

" The canoes now left the mouth of the Trent, and cross- 
ing Lake Ontario, landed within the borders of New York. 
After hiding their light craft in the woods, the warriors 
took up their swift and wary march, riling in silence be- 
tween the woods and the lake for twelve miles along the 
pebbly strand. Then they struck inland, threaded the 
forest, crossed the river Onondaga, and after a march of 
four days, were deep within the western limits of the 
Iroquois." The hostile town was close at hand. The 
young Hurons in advance saw the Iroquois at work 
among the pumpkins and maize, gathering their harvest, 
for it was the 10th of October. Nothing could keep 
back the hare-brained crew. They screamed their war- 
cry and rushed in ; but the Iroquois defeated and pursued 
them until driven back by Champlain and his Frenchmen. 
Then the victors retired to their defences. 

It was the town of the Senecas, the largest and one 
of the most warlike of the five Iroquois tribes, and its 
site was on or near one of the lakes in central New 
York. Champlain says its defensive works were stronger 
than those of the Huron villages. They had four rows of 
palisades, formed of trunks and trees, thirty feet high, set 
aslant in the earth and crossing one another near the top, 
where they supported a kind of gallery, well defended 


by shot-proof timber and furnished with wooden gutters 
for quenching fire. A pond or lake, which washed 
one side of the palisade and was led by sluices into the 
town, gave a good supply of water. 

Champlain was much vexed with his allies for their 
useless attack and tried to show them how to take the 
fort. A wooden tower was made, high enough to over- 
look the palisade and large enough to shelter four or 
five marksmen. Several movable shields were also made. 
In four hours all was ready and the attack began. " Two 
hundred of the strongest warriors dragged the tower 
close to the palisade, and three of -the Frenchmen mounted 
it and opened a raking fire along the galleries, now 
thronged with wild and naked defenders. But the Hu- 
rons could not be kept back. They left their movable 
shields, and, deaf to every command, swarmed out like 
bees upon the open field, leaped, shouted, shrieked their 
war-cries, and shot off their arrows, while the Iroquois 
sent back a shower of stones and arrows in reply. A 
Huron, bolder than the rest, ran forward with firebrands 
to burn the palisade, and others followed with wood to 
feed the flames. But it was stupidly kindled on the 
leeward side, without the shields intended to cover it, 
and torrents of water, poured down from the gutters 
above, soon put it out. Champlain tried in vain to 
restore order. Each warrior was yelling at the top of 



his throat, and his voice was drowned in the dreadful 
din. Thinking, as he says, that his head would split 
with shouting, he gave over the attempt and busied hiin- 


self and his men with picking off the Iroquois along the 

The attack lasted three hours, when the Hurons fell 
back to their camp with seventeen warriors wounded. 
Champlain, too, was hurt and for a time disabled. He 


wanted, however, to renew the attack, but the Hurons 
refused, unless the five hundred allies they expected 
should appear. They waited five days in vain and then 
began to retreat. Their wounded, Champlain among 
the rest, had been packed in baskets so that they might 
be carried, each on the back of a strong warrior, " bundled 
in a heap," says Champlain, " doubled and strapped to- 
gether after such a fashion that one could no more move 
than an infant in swaddling clothes I lost all patience, 
and as soon as I could bear my weight I got out of this 

At length the dismal march was ended. They reached 
the spot where their canoes were hidden, found them 
untouched, embarked and crossed to the northern shore 
of Lake Ontario. The Hurons had promised Champlain 
an escort to Quebec but each warrior found good reasons 
for refusing to go or lend his canoe. The help of "the 
man with an iron breast" no longer meant victory and 
they were careless of his friendship. A chief offered 
him the shelter of his lodge and he spent an unpleasant 
winter with the Hurons. In the spring, when Champlain 
returned to Quebec, his Indian host went with him and 
was delighted with all that he saw. The fort, the ship, 
the armor, the plumes, the cannon, the houses and bar- 
racks, the splendors of the chapel, and above all the good 
cheer, pleased him wonderfully and he paddled back to 



his lodge in the woods bewildered with admiring aston- 

EARLY QUEBEC (from an old print) 

Champlain made no more excursions to the wilder- 
ness but devoted himself to his colonies. Quarrels among 
those in authority in France and among the traders 


themselves kept the colony from prospering. The colo- 
nists did not raise enough to support themselves and 
supplies from France did not coine often. In 1629 a 
squadron of English ships appeared before Quebec and 
demanded its surrender. Champlain's company was too 
weak to defend the fort and surrendered on condition 
that the men would .be returned to France. Three years 
later England gave up her claim to New France and 
Champlain returned to Quebec, where he remained until 
his death in 1635. 



OF Henry Hudson's boyhood, history tells us nothing. 
It is supposed that he belonged to a Hudson family that 
lived in England, some of whose members were friends of 
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Walter Raleigh, and others 
much interested in seafaring and discovery. We know, 
however, that he was a citizen of London and that on the 
first day of May, 1607, he sailed for Greenland in command 
of an arctic expedition. He tried to sail between Green- 
land and Spitzbergen, in the hope of passing over the 
North Pole and finding an open sea over which he could 
sail to the eastern ports of Asia. In 1608 he tried to 
pass between Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla, which lie to 
the north of Russia. " In this high latitude he tells us 
that on the morning of the 15th of June two of his sail- 
ors saw a mermaid, who came close to the ship's side and 
gazed earnestly at them. Her face and breasts were 
those of a woman, but below she was a fish as big as a 
halibut, and in color like a speckled mackerel." It is 

1 Authority : Fiske's " Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America." 
2 Fiske's " Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America." 



supposed that this creature was a seal, an animal which 
at that time was little known by English sailors. 

When Hudson returnel to y England after these voyages, 
he found himself famous. He had been nearer the pole 
than any cne else and had proved himself a very fine sea- 
man. The Dutch East India Company was anxious to 
secure his services and persuaded him to make a voyage 
for them. On the 4th of April, 1609, Henry Hudson 
set sail on the Zuyder Zee. He commanded a little yacht 
of eighty tons burden and had a crew of sixteen or eigh- 
teen sailors. About half of the crew were English but 
the mate was a Netherlander. His ship was named the 
Half Moon. On the fifth day of May he sailed around 
North Cape and headed for Nova Zeinbla. But the sea 
was so full of ice that passage was very difficult and the 
crew became mutinous. Hudson decided that he would 
try another way of reaching Asia. On the maps of the 
early voyagers to the New World a great sea was pictured 
behind Virginia, divided from the Atlantic by a narrow 
isthmus near the 40th parallel and called the sea of Yer- 
razano. It might be possible to find a strait near here 
that would lead into this sea. Captain John Smith, who 
had explored along the coast the preceding summer, 
thought it possible and had written to Hudson about it ; 
so Hudson turned his ship and started for the New World. 

On the 13th of May the little Half Moon stopped 


at the Faroe Islands and the casks were filled with fresh 
water. On the 3d of June the sailors were surprised at 
the force of the ocean current which we now call the 
Gulf Stream. On the 18th of July they arrived in 
Penobscot Bay, with the foremast gone and the sails 
much the worse for wear. Here they stopped for a week 
to mend their sails and make a new mast. They enjoyed 
good living while here, for they caught fifty cod, a hun- 
dred lobsters, and one great halibut. They were visited 
by two French shallops full of Indians. The mate of the 
Half Moon, who kept a journal, says : " Wee espied two 
French shallops full of the country people come into the 
harbor, but they offered us no wrong, seeing we stood 
upon our guard. They brought many beaver skinnes and 
other fine furres, which they would have changed for 
redde gowns. For the French trade with them for red 
cassockes, knives, hatchets, copper, kettles, . . . beades 
and other trifles. . . . We kept good watch for fear of 
being betrayed by the people, and perceived where they 
layd their shallops." 1 

Nine days after leaving Penobscot Bay the Half Moon 
reached the neighborhood of Cape Cod. On the 18th 
of August she was as far south as Accomac penin- 
sula, where Hudson saw an opening which he thought 
was the James Eiver, for he says, " This is the entrance 

1 Hart's " American History told by Contemporaries." 



into the King's River in Virginia, where our Englishmen 
are." Presently turning north again, he entered Dela- 
ware Bay on the 28th day of August and began to 
take soundings. The water was shallow in many places 
and the swift current made him sure that he was at the 


mouth of a large river. So he sailed farther north and, 
on the 3d of September, stopped somewhere -between 
Sandy Hook and Staten Island. 

They entered the bay and says the mate's journal: 
" This day the people of the country came aboord of us, 
seeming very glad of our coming, and brought greene 


tobacco, and gave us of it for knives and beads. They 
goe in deere skins loose, well dressed. They have yellow 
copper. They desire cloathes, and are very civ ill. They 
have great store of maize or wheate, whereof they make 
good bread. The country is full of great and tall oakes. 

" The fifth, in the morning, as soon as the day was 
light, the wind ceased and the flood came. So we heaved 
off our ship againe into five fathoms of water, and sent 
our boate to sound the bay, and we found that there was 
three fathoms hard by the souther shoare. Our men went 
on land there, and saw great store of men, women, and 
children who gave them tobacco at their coming on land. 
So they went up into the woods, and saw great store of 
very goodly oakes and some currants. For one of them 
came aboord and brought some dryed, and gave me some, 
which were sweet and good. This day many of the peo- 
ple came aboord, some in mantles of feathers, and some 
in skinnes of divers sorts of good furres. Some women 
also came to us with hempe. They had red copper 
tobacco pipes, and other things of copper they did wear 
about their necks. At night they went on land againe, 
so we rode very quiet, but durst not trust them." 

Their fears were well founded, for the next day "in 
the morning was fair weather, and our master sent John 
Colman, with foure other men in our boate, over to the 
north-side to sound the other river, being four leagues 


from us. They found by the way shoald water, two 
fathoms : but at the north of the river eighteen, and 
twenty fathoms, and very good riding for ships ; and a 
narrow river to the westward, between two ilands. The 
lands, they told us, were as pleasant with grasse and 
flowers and goodly trees as ever they had seene, and very 
sweet smells came from them. So they went in two 
leagues and saw an open sea, and returned ; and as they 
came backe, they were set upon by two canoes, the one 
having twelve, the other fourteene men. The night came 
on, and it began to rayne, so that their match went out ; 
and they had one man slaine in the fight, which was an 
Englishman, named John Col man, with an arrow shot 
into his throat, and two more hurt. It grew so darke 
that they could not find the ship that night, but labored 
too and fro with their oares. They had so great a 
streame, that their grapnell would not hold them. 

" The eleventh was faire and very hot weather . . . wee 
anchored, and saw that it was a very good harbour for all 
windes, and rode all night. The people of the country 
came aboord of us, making show of love, and gave us 
tabacco and Indian wheat, and departed for that night; 
but we durst not trust them." 

As the Half Moon passed up the river, she was often 
greeted with flights of arrows and sometimes answered 
the salute with musket shots. On the 14th of Sep- 


tember the ship passed between Stony and Yerplanck's 
points. The journal says : The " fourteenth, in the 
morning, being very faire weather, the wind south-east, 
we sayled up the river twelve leagues. . . . The river 
is a mile broad : there is high land on both sides. The 
land grew very high and mountainous. 

" The fifteenth, in the morning, was misty, untill the 
sun arose : then it cleared. So we weighed with the 
wind at south, and ran up into the river twentie leagues, 
passing by high mountains. Wee had a very good depth, 
as sixe, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, and thirteene 
fathoms, and great store of salmons in the river. This 
morning our two savages got out of a port and swam 
away. After wee were under sayle, they called to us in 
scorne. At night we came to other mountains which lie 
from the rivers side. There we found very loving people, 
and caught great store of very good fish. " 1 

On the 22d, after passing as far north as Troy, the 
water became so shallow that the voyagers could go no 
farther. This was plainly not the passage to the western 
ocean. They now started on their return voyage down 
the river. Their adventures are told in the mate's 
journal. "The people of the mountaynes came aboord 
us, wondering at our ships and weapons. We bought 
some small skinnes of them for trifles. This afternoone, 

1 Hart's " American History told by Contemporaries." 


one canoe kept hanging under our sterne with one man in 
it, which we could not keepe from thence, who got up by 
our rudder to the cabin window, and stole out my pillow, 
and two shirts and two bandeleeres. Our master's mate 
shot at him and killed him. Whereupon all the rest fled 
away, some in their canoes, and some leapt out of them 
into the water. We manned our boat and got our things 
againe. Then one of them that swamme got hold of our 
boat thinking to overthrow it. But our cooke took a 
sword and cut off one of his hands and he was drowned. 
By this time the ebbe was come and we weighed and got 
down two leagues.'' l 

At one time the Indians came in hundreds in their bark 
canoes, shooting their arrows at the boat with little effect, 
but the ship's cannon sank their boats and the muskets did 
deadly work. Sometimes the meetings with the natives 
were friendly. Hudson tells of an experience near the 
site of Catskill. " I sailed to the shore in one of their 
canoes, with an old man, who was the chief of a tribe 
consisting of forty men and seventeen women ; these 1 
saw in a house well constructed of oak bark, and circular 
in shape, so that it had the appearance of being well built, 
with an arched roof. It contained a great quantity of 
maize . . . and beans of last years growth, and there lay 
near the house for the purpose of drying, enough to load 

i Fiske's " Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America." 


three ships, besides what was growing in the fields. On. 
our coming into the house, two mats were spread out to 
sit upon, and immediately some food was served in well- 
made wooden bowls; two men were also despatched at 
once with bows and arrows in quest of game, who soon 
after brought in a pair of pigeons which they had shot. 
They likewise killed a fat dog and skinned it with great 
haste, with shells which they got out of the water. They 
supposed that I would remain with them for the night, 
but I returned after a short time on board the ship. The 
land is the finest for cultivation that I ever in my life 
set foot upon, and it also abounds in trees of every 

On the 4th of October Hudson left behind him the 
shore which was called by the natives Manna-hatta and 
set sail for Europe. On the 7th of November he 
reached Dartmouth and the English members of his crew 
made him stop there. He sent a report of his voyage to 
Amsterdam and asked for more money and some men to 
take the place of the discontented English sailors. He 
intended to start in March on a fresh search for the 
Northwest Passage. The directors of the Dutch East 
India Company asked him to come first to Holland. 
King James refused to let him go and the Half Moon was 
sent to Amsterdam without him. A new ship was fitted 

1 Fiske's " Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America." 


out in England and in April the new voyage was begun. 
The English wanted the glory of the discoveries the 
famous sailor expected to make. 

In time the ship entered the great inland sea known as 
Hudson Bay. Tiien winter came on and from Novem- 
ber, 1610, to the following June, the ship was locked in 
ice at the southern end of James Bay. As soon as the 
ice broke up, the crew insisted upon going home but 
Hudson decided to go westward. The crew mutinied and, 
three days after leaving winter quarters, Henry Hudson 
with his son John Hudson and seven sick men were set 
adrift in an open boat and the ship started for England. 
The leaders of the mutiny were killed by Indians 
before reaching the ocean. As soon as the ship came 
to England, the crew was thrown into jail and a ship 
was sent in search of the great sailor, but the search was 

Of the results of these voyages, John Fiske says : " In 
all that he attempted he failed, and yet he achieved great 
results that were not contemplated in his schemes. He 
started two immense industries, the Spitzbergen whale 
fisheries and the Hudson Bay fur trade, and he brought 
the Dutch to Manhattan Island. No realization of his 
dreams could have approached the astonishing reality 
which would have greeted him could he have looked 
through the coming centuries and caught a glimpse 


of what the voyager now beholds in sailing up 
the .bay of New York. But what perhaps would have 
surprised him most of all would have been to become a 
part of the folklore of the beautiful river to which it is 
attached, that he was to figure as a Dutchman in spite 
of himself, in legend and on the stage, that when it is 
thunder weather on the Catskills the children should say 
it is Hendrik Hudson playing at skittles with his goblin 



ABOUT the middle of the sixteenth century, 1552, a 

boy named Walter Raleigh was living with his father and 
mother in a small farmhouse ^near the Otter River in the 
south of England. His father, though not rich, belonged 
to a family which had long been rich and powerful in 
England. The mother also belonged to a noble family, 
being a descendant of the Courtenays, the famous English 
emperors of Constantinople. The father and mother were 
very proud of their son, who was noted in the neighbor- 
hood for his beauty. His features were regular, his com- 
plexion rosy, his eyes large, bright, and brown, and his 
mind quick and active. He received his early education 
at home from his mother. He was fond of outdoor 
sports and as soon as he was old enough was the com- 
panion of his father as he galloped over the hills, his pack 
of hounds yelping at his sides, chasing the fleet-footed deer. 
About thirty miles from the farmhouse in the midst 
of a forest stood an old castle, whose lofty towers rose 

Authorities: Bancroft's "History of the United States," Higginson's 
" American Explorers." 



high above the surrounding trees. Here lived Waltei 
Raleigh's half-brothers, Humphrey and Adrian Gilbert ; 
for his mother, when a girl, had wedded a brave knight, 
Sir Ofcho Gilbert, who died when his sons were yet young. 
After her husband's death she married the quiet country 
gentleman who became Walter Raleigh's father. These 
half-brothers had been much abroad in the world and had 
met with many stirring adventures in war and on the sea. 
They were very fond of their young half-brother, who 
delighted in visiting them and was never tired of sitting 
with them by the big fireplace on a winter night, hearing 
them tell of their adventures, and he was never so happy 
as when following them to the hunt. 

As his house was near the ocean, he often went to the 
cottages of the sailors along the southern coast. These 
men came home to rest after long and exciting voyages 
and were very fond of telling of adventures at sea. 
Walter Raleigh was equally fond of listening to their 
stories of battle, shipwreck, and discovery. He read of 
the discoveries of Columbus, Magellan, Pizarro, and Cor- 
tes with great interest and thought he would like to be 
the hero of such adventures. 

When about fifteen he left his quiet home for Oxford. 
He entered into his college work with as much zest as he 
had shown in pursuit of amusement before. He was well 
liked by the young men he met and became friendly 


with many noted men. One of his friends, Francis 
Bacon, tells an anecdote of Walter Raleigh which shows 
something of his spirit at that time. " Whilst Raleigh 
was a scholar at Oxford there was a cowardly fellow, who 
happened to be a very good archer; but having been 
grossly abused by another, he bemoaned himself to 
Raleigh, and asked his advice what he should do to 
repair the wrong that had been offered to him. ' Why,' 
promptly answered Raleigh, ' challenge him to a match 
of shooting.' ' 

When Raleigh had been at Oxford almost three years, 
he was offered a chance to try some of the adventures 
he had so long thought and dreamed about. A conflict 
was going on in France between the Huguenots, or 
Protestants, and the Catholic king, Charles IX. Eliza- 
beth, who was queen of England at this time, sympa- 
thized with the Protestants and encouraged adventurous 
noblemen to help them, though she offered no direct 
aid herself. A young cavalier, Henry Champenon, 
a cousin of Walter Raleigh, was going to France with 
a company of one hundred young men to take part in 
the war and win what glory they could. This cousin 
asked Walter Raleigh to join him and the temptation 
was too great to be resisted. A fleet of four vessels took 
the little company to France, where they joined the army 
of Coligny, the great leader. What their exploits were 


history fails to tell, but no doubt they performed many 
brave deeds, and Walter Ealeigh received a training in 
warfare which, was of great use to him in after life. He 
remained six years in France. He continued his studies 
when he was not fighting and always took careful note 
of all that he heard and saw. 

When, at last, Walter Ealeigh returned to England, he 
was no longer a boy but a tall, broad-shouldered man of 
twenty-four. He was thought to be very handsome and 
was noted for his refined and graceful manner. He 
attracted the attention of the queen and many nobles at 
court. Soon after his return war broke out in Holland. 
An expedition was sent from England to help the Dutch 
against the Spaniards and Raleigh was given command 
of a company. The expedition was a successful one ; the 
Spaniards were defeated and Raleigh returned with new 

In the meantime, Raleigh's half-brother, Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert, whose ambition had long been excited by voyages 
of discovery, had made up his mind to start out upon a 
voyage himself. He wanted to explore the still mysteri- 
ous continent of America. He fitted up a squadron of 
vessels which he himself was to command. Walter 
Raleigh reached London just in time to join him. 
When the squadron dropped down the English Channel 
and put to sea, Raleigh was on the flagship with Sir 


Humphrey. It was his first experience of life on the 
ocean and he watched everything with keen interest. 
He learned the methods of finding the latitude and 
longitude of the ship's position, the arrangement and 
management of the sails, and the discipline which was 
imposed upon the crew. As he had little to do himself, 
he spent much of his time on board in study. Mean- 
while he shared the rough life of the sailors, enduring 
many of the hardships to which they were subjected. 

The expedition was not a successful one. One of the 
ships mutinied and sailed away. The rest were beset 
by Spanish cruisers and escaped only by flight. Sir 
Humphrey returned to Portsmouth with his ships badly 
damaged and the expedition was given up. 

Raleigh was next sent to put down a rebellion in Ire- 
land. Although he was eager for adventure, he did not 
like this work of fighting people who were struggling 
for liberty. " I disdain this charge," he said to the 
Earl of Leicester, " as much as to keep sheep." But he 
could not let a chance go by to add to his fame and 
accepted a captainship in spite of his scruples. He 
fought bravely and did so much toward putting down 
the rebellion that his praises were sounded in England 
and reached the ears of Queen Elizabeth. 

At the age of thirty Raleigh returned to England. 
Soon after his return a happy adventure had much to do 


with his future fortune. Queen Elizabeth was stopping 
at the castle and a crowd of gayly dressed courtiers 
were awaiting her appearance. " Grave statesmen, all 
beruffed, their white beards carefully trimmed and 
daintily pointed; fine young cavaliers, sparkling with 
gems, attired in rich velvets and long plumes, and armed 
with gold-hilted swords ; stately dames and beautiful 
young girls, were gathered on the thick green lawn 
beneath the palace portals; while the trumpets gave 
forth inspiriting sounds, and lines of soldiers were drawn 
up along the bank." Soon the queen appeared, and, 
surrounded by a gay group of ladies and courtiers, set 
out for a walk in the park. It had rained during the 
day and small pools of water still stood in places along 
the walk. The queen paused before a muddy place in 
her path, disliking to soil her dainty boots. At the 
instant, Walter Raleigh stepped forward and threw his 
handsome velvet cloak over the mud. The queen smiled 
at him and went on with her walk. But she kept 
Raleigh at her side and seemed very friendly toward him. 
She gave him, soon afterward, great estates in both 
England and Ireland. 

In the meantime Sir Humphrey Gilbert was busy with 
plans for discoveries and settlement in the New World. 
Walter Raleigh joined eagerly in these plans. They 
wished to make a settlement in Newfoundland. The 



expedition set out in 1583, commanded by Sir Humphrey, 
Raleigh remaining at home. Sir Humphrey reached the 
coast of Newfoundland but his men became unruly and 


demanded that they be taken home again. They started 
for England, but during a storm the Squirrel, Sir 
Humphrey's ship, was sunk, and all on board were lost 


Raleigh was much grieved but not discouraged by the 
sad death of his brother. As soon as possible he fitted 
out another fleet to colonize the New World. This time 
he thought he would make a settlement farther south 
and from Queen Elizabeth obtained the right to plant 
colonies in any region not already occupied and to have, 
himself, the government of such colonies as he might 
plant. In 1584 he sent out two vessels, commanded by 
Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow, to explore the coast 
of the Carolinas. The ocean was quiet and they reached 
the shores of North Carolina after a pleasant voyage. 
As they drew near land, the fragrance was " as if they had 
been in the midst of some delicate garden, abounding 
with all kinds of odoriferous flowers." They sailed along 
the coast for 120 miles in search of a good harbor, and, 
landing on an island near the mainland, took possession 
of the country for the queen of England. They were 
delighted with all they saw. The natives who came to 
the shore were friendly and they were entertained on the 
island of Roanoke by the king's mother. " The people 
were most gentle, loving, and faithful, void of all guile 
and treason, and such as lived after the manner of the 
golden age." 

The adventurers were pleased with the New World, 
and, without taking time to explore much, returned to 


In 1585 Raleigh sent out another company which 
sailed in a fleet of seven vessels and had as commander 
Sir Richard Grenville, a friend of Raleigh. These ships 
carried 108 colonists. Ralph Lane was made governor. 
The fleet crossed the ocean in safety but came near 
being wrecked upon the cape which was then for the 
first time called Cape Fear. They made their way to 
Roanoke. After spending eight days in exploring the 
coast, Grenville returned to England. 

Lane and his colonists explored the country. Lane 
wrote at the time : " It is the goodliest soil under the 
cope of heaven ; the most pleasing territory of the world ; 
the continent is of a huge and unknown greatness, and 
very well peopled and towned, though savagely. The 
climate is so wholesome that we have not been sick since 
we touched the land. If Virginia had but horses and 
kine and were inhabited with English, no realm of Chris- 
tendom were comparable to it." 

Hariot, the historian of the company, examined the 
productions of the country. He observed the culture 
of tobacco, used it, and believed in its healing power. 
Maize and the tuberous roots of the potato were tried 
and found to be very good food. The natives are de- 
scribed as " too feeble to inspire terror ; clothed in man- 
tles and aprons of deer-skins; having no weapons but 
wooden swords, and bows of witch-hazel with arrows of 


reeds ; no armors but targets of bark and sticks wickered 
together with thread. Their towns were small, the 
largest containing but thirty dwellings. The walls of 
the houses were made of bark fastened to stakes, and 
sometimes consisted of poles fixed upright, one by another, 
and at the top bent over and fastened as arbors are some- 
times made in gardens." The tribes warred against one 
another but seldom in open battle. They lay in wait to 
surprise an enemy at some unexpected place. They 
thought the white men came from heaven, and the guns, 
clocks, burning glass, and books the English had with 
them, the works of gods. They feared the English and 
wished to get rid of them. Finding they were eager for 
gold, some of the savages told them that the Roanoke 
River gushed from a rock so near the Pacific Ocean that 
the surge of the sea sometimes dashed into its fountains. 
Its banks were inhabited by a nation skilled in the art 
of refining the rich ore in which the country abounded. 
The walls of the city, they said, glittered from the 
abundance of pearls. 

Lane and some of his followers tried to reach the 
source of the Roanoke but their provisions gave out and 
they returned after a short time. While they were gone 
the Indians had planned to get rid of the English by 
attacking them while the two parties were apart, but 
Lane's sudden return put an end to this plot. The 


Indians feared that the English would take their land 
and plotted several times to destroy them, but were 
unsuccessful. The English heard of some of these plots 
and decided to put an end to them. They asked that 
they might visit one of the most powerful of the Indian 
chiefs. The Indians, fearing nothing, received them 
kindly. At a signal the Eng- 
lish fell upon them and 
murdered the chief and his 

Lane had made some ex- 
plorations both north and 
south of the Roanoke. Better 
harbors were found farther 
north and better places for 

The colonists at Roanoke 
began to grow impatient as 
none of the promised stores 
came from England. One 
day they were delighted to see the sails of twenty-three 
vessels on the ocean. In three days Sir Francis Drake, 
who was returning from the sacking of St. Domingo, 
Cartagena, and St. Augustine, anchored his fleet " in 
the wild road of their bad harbor. He conferred 
with them of their state and welfare, and how things 



had passed with them. They answered him that they 
lived all, but hitherto in some scarcity, and as yet could 
hear of no supply out of England ; therefore they re- 
quested him that he would leave with them two or 
three ships, that, if in some reasonable time they heard 
not out of England they might then return themselves. 
Which he agreed to. Whilst some were then writing 
their letters to send into England, and some others mak- 
ing reports of the accidents of their travels each to 
other, some on land, some on board, a great storm 
arose and drove most of their fleet from their anchor 
to sea ; in which ships at that instant were the chiefest 
of the English colony. The rest on land, perceiving this, 
hastened to those three sails which were appointed to 
be left there ; and for fear they should be left behind, 
they left all things confusedly, as if they had been 
chased from thence by a mighty army. And no doubt 
so they were, for the hand of God came upon them for 
the cruelty and outrages committed by some of them 
against the native inhabitants of that country." 

Soon after the departure of the colonists " out of this 
paradise of the world " a ship which had been sent 
out by Raleigh well laden with supplies reached the 
island, but finding no one there, returned to England. 
About fourteen or fifteen days later Richard Grenville, 
with three well-furnished ships, appeared off the coast 


and looked in vain for the colony. Unwilling that the 
English should lose possession of the country, he left 
fifteen men on the island of Roanoke to be the guard- 
ians of English rights. 

Sir Walter Raleigh persevered in his attempts to 
colonize Virginia and in 1587 sent out a new colony of 
150 men. John White was made governor and had under 
him twelve assistants. A city was to be built in Virginia 
and it was to be called the City of Raleigh. It was 
intended that the city should be built farther north 
than the island of Roanoke but the men landed at 
Roanoke to search for the fifteen men left by Grenville. 
No sooner were they landed than the commander of 
the fleet, who was to take the ships back to England, 
refused to go farther. It was late in July when they 
reached America and he claimed that the summer was 
too far spent for explorations. " Unto this were all 
the sailors both in the pinnace and ship persuaded by 
the master ; wherefore it booted not the governor to 
contend with them, but (we) passed to Roanoke ; and 
the same night at sunset went a-land on the island, in 
the place where our fifteen men were left ; but we found 
none of them, nor any sign that they had been there, 
saving only we found the bones of one of those fifteen 
which the savages had slain long before. 

" The three and twentieth of July, the governor, with 


divers of his company, walked to the north end of the 
island, where Master Ralph Lane had his fort with sundry 
necessary and decent dwelling-houses, made by his men 
about it the year before, where we hoped to find some 
signs or certain knowledge of our fifteen men. When 
we came thither, we found the fort razed down, but all 
the houses standing unhurt, saving that the nether rooms 
of them, and also of the fort, were overgrown with 
melons of divers sorts, and deer within them feeding on 
those melons ; so we returned to our company, without 
hope of ever seeing any of the fifteen men living. 

"The same day, order was again given that every 
man should be employed for the repairing of those 
houses which we found standing, and also to make other 
new cottages for such as should need." 

From Manteo, a friendly Indian of Croatan, the colo- 
nists learned that the fifteen men had been killed by 

On the 18th of August " Eleanor, daughter to the 
governor, and wife of Ananias Dare, one of the assist- 
ants, was delivered of a daughter in Roanoke, and the 
same was christened there the Sunday following; and 
because this child was the first Christian born in Vir- 
ginia, she was named Virginia. By this time, our ships 
had unladen the goods and victuals of the planters and 
begun to take wood and fresh water, and to new calk 


and trim them for England ; the planters, also, prepared 
their letters and tokens to send back to England." 

The colonists united in asking Governor White to 
return to England to hasten the supplies so much 
needed. At first he refused but finally consented as 
the ships were ready to sail. He expected to return as 
soon as possible. 

But when White reached England he found every- 
body fearing a Spanish invasion. Grenville, Raleigh, 
Drake, Frobisher, and all to whom he could look for 
assistance were busy planning resistance. Yet Raleigh, 
after a time, found means to send White with two vessels 
of supplies. But desiring to make the voyage a gainful 
one, the ships ran after Spanish cruisers, and instead 
of gaining a prize, were forced to return to England 
in a disabled condition. The delay was fatal, for the 
Invincible Armada must be defeated before further 
thought could be given to the colonists. Raleigh had 
spent so much money in his attempts to colonize 
America and in the wars, that his fortune was almost 
gone. He tried, however, to organize a company of mer- 
chants to go to his colony in Virginia but more than 
another year elapsed before White could return to search 
for his colony and his daughter. Upon reaching Roa- 
noke he found the settlers gone. 

Of the search for this lost colony, Governor White says : 


* As we entered up the sandy bank, upon a tree, in the 
very brow thereof, were curiously carved these fair Roman 
letters, CRO : which letters presently we knew to signify 
the place where I should find the planters seated, accord- 
ing to a secret token agreed upon between them and me 
at rny last departure from them. Which was, that in any 
ways they should not fail to write or carve upon the trees 
or posts of the doors the name of the place where they 
should be seated ; for at my coming away they were pre- 
pared to remove from Roanoke fifty miles into the main. 
Therefore at my departure from them in 1587, I willed 
them, that if they should happen to be distressed in any 
of those places, then they should carve over the letters or 
name a cross . . . but we found no such sign of distress. 
And having well considered of this, we passed toward the 
place where they were left in sundry houses; but we 
found the houses taken down, and the place very strongly 
enclosed with a high palisado of great trees, with curtains 
and flankers, very fort-like. And one of the chief trees 
or posts at the right side of the entrance had the bark 
taken off ; and five feet from the ground, in fair capital 
letters, was graven CROATAN, without any cross, or 
sign of distress. This done we entered the palisado, 
where we found many bars of iron, two pigs of lead . . . 
and such like heavy things, thrown here and there, almost 
overgrown with grasses and weeds. 


*' From thence we went along by the water-side, toward 
the point of the creek, to see if we could find any of their 
boats or pinnace ; but we could perceive no sign of them. 


. . . At our return from the creek, some of the sailors, 
meeting us, told us they had found where divers chests 
had been hidden, and long since digged up again, and 


broken up, and much of the goods in them spoiled and 
scattered about, but nothing left, of such things as the 
savages knew any use of, undefaced. Presently Captain 
Cooke and I went to the place, which was in the end of 
an old trench, made two years past by Captain Amadas, 
where we found five chests that had been carefully hidden 
of the planters, and of the same chests three were my 
own ; and about the place many of my things spoiled and 
broken, and my books torn from the covers, the frames of 
some of my pictures and maps rotten, and spoiled with 
rain, and my armor almost eaten through with rust. This 
could be no other but the deed of the savages, our ene- 
mies, . . . who had watched the departure of our men to 
Croatan, and, as soon as they were departed, digged up 
every place where they suspected anything to be buried. 
But although it much grieved me to see such spoil of my 
goods, yet on the other side I greatly joyed that I had 
found a certain token of their safe being at Croatan, 
which is the place where Manteo was born, and the sav- 
ages of the island our friends." 1 Unfortunately, weather, 
which "grew to be fouler and fouler," and some broken 
cables, as well as a scarcity of victuals and water, made it 
necessary for the vessel to "go for St. John, or some 
other island to the southward," and no trace of the lost 
colony has ever been discovered. 

1 Higginson's " Young Folks' Book of American Explorers." 


About this time Raleigh married secretly a young girl 
who was Elizabeth's maid of honor. When Elizabeth 
heard of this marriage, she was very angry and had 
Raleigh sent to the Tower to punish him. He had been a 
prisoner here some time when some of his ships which 
had been out to look for Spanish prizes brought in a 
Spanish vessel loaded with valuable goods. As Raleigh 
was chief owner of the fleet which had captured the prize 
he was set free so that he might help divide the booty. 
Elizabeth was much pleased with her share and upon 
Raleigh's return to prison sent word that he might be 
liberated. He lived quietly in one of his castles with his 
beautiful wife for a while, but hearing of the wonders of 
Guiana in South America, he resolved to visit that coun- 
try and to add it and its wealth to his beloved England. 

According to Spanish accounts this Guiana on the 
north coast of South America was in truth the land of 
gold. Stories were told of a great city which stood on 
the heights in the interior of the country, " where the 
very troughs at the corners of the streets at which the 
horses were watered were made of solid blocks of gold 
and silver; and where billets of gold lay about in heaps 
as if they were logs of wood marked out to be burned." 
It was also said that Montezuma had sent his great treas- 
ures to this city when he was captured by Cortes, and that 
the boundless wealth of the Inca of Peru had been sent 


to the same place when he was conquered by Pizarro. 
Raleigh disliked the Spaniards very much and to prevent 
their getting this land of gold he determined to go him- 
self to take possession of it in the name of his queen, 
Elizabeth. He had given up his attempts to colonize 
Virginia after so many failures but this seemed a new 
and more promising field for colonization. In 1594 five 
stout ships provided with crews and arms and provisions, 
and with Sir Walter Raleigh himself as commander, left 
the harbor of Plymouth. The fleet reached Guiana in 
safety. Raleigh ascended the Orinoco some distance and 
brought away some stones containing gold. He returned 
to England to get more men, as he feared the Spaniards 
would try to keep from him the great wealth he expected 
to bring to England. When he reached England he 
was needed in an attack against Spain and could not 
return to America. 

Soon after this Elizabeth died and King James of Scot- 
land became king of England. Now James did not like 
Raleigh and took from him his offices and estates. This 
made Raleigh angry and he said many bitter things of the 
king. Some of his enemies claimed that he was guilty of 
treason and he was tried and convicted, though there was 
really no proof that he was guilty. He was imprisoned 
in the Tower where he remained thirteen years. While in 
prison he wrote a history of the world. At last he was 


released from prison that he might go again to Guiana to 
find the gold mines of which he had heard. 

This expedition was not successful and upon his return 
Raleigh was again thrown into prison. The old charge of 
treason was revived and Raleigh was taken from prison 
and beheaded. His efforts to found colonies in America 
had not been successful, but he had kept up the interest 
of Englishmen in America and soon afterward colonies 
were successfully planted. 



THE adventures of John Smith began when he was very 
young. Before reaching his twentieth year he had fought 
for a while in the French army and had served three years 
in the Netherlands. In the year 1600 he returned to his 
home in England, u where," he says in the history of his 
life, " within a short time, being glutted with too much 
company wherein he took small delight, he retired himself 
into a little woody pasture a good way from any town, 
environed with many hundred acres of w T oods. Here by 
a fair brook he built a pavilion of boughs where only in 
his clothes he lay." Here he read books upon the art of 
war and studied the wise sayings of Marcus Aurelius. He 
also took exercise with " a good horse, with lance and 
ring; his food was thought to be more of venison than 
anything else." But he soon grew tired of this quiet life. 
" He was desirous to see more of the world and try his 
fortune against the Turks ; both lamenting and repenting 
to have seen so many Christians slaughtering one another." 

1 Authority : Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors " and other 



After an adventure in France with robbers, in which he 
lost everything he had with him, he reached Marseilles. 
Here he embarked for Turkey with a band of pilgrims. 
A storm arose " which they said was all because of their 
having this heretic on board, ana so, like Jonah, the 
young adventurer was thrown into the sea. He was a 
good swimmer, however, and ' God brought him,' he says, 
6 to a little island with no inhabitants but a few kine and 
goats.' ' Next morning he was picked up by a Breton 
vessel whose captain knew some of Smith's friends in 
France and treated him with much kindness. The vessel 
was bound for Egypt and Cyprus. On the return voyage 
they were fired upon by a Venetian argosy and a hot fight 
took place until the Venetian struck her colors. After 
taking from her a rich treasure of silks and velvet and 
Turkish coins in gold and silver, the Bretons let her go on 
her way. When the spoil was divided, Smith received 
225 in coin and a box of goods worth nearly as much 
more. His friend, the captain, landed him in Piedmont, 
and he journeyed to Naples, enjoying himself '' sight see- 
ing." He visited Rome, Florence, and Bologna, and 
finally made his way to Venice. From here he went to 
Styria and entered the service of the Emperor Rudolph II. 
He was soon given command of a company of 250 cavalry, 
with the rank of captain. " On one occasion he made 
himself useful by devising a system of signals, and on 


another occasion by inventing a kind of rude missiles 
which he called ' fiery dragons/ which sorely annoyed the 
Turks by setting fire to their camp." 

During the years 1601 and 1602 Smith saw much 
rough fighting. The troop to which his company be- 
longed passed into the service of Prince Sigismund of 
Transylvania. " The Transylvanians were besieging Re- 
gal, one of their towns which the Turks had occupied, and 
the siege made but little progress, so that the barbarians 
from the top of the wall hurled down sarcasms upon their 
assailants and complained of growing fat for lack of exer- 
cise. One day a Turkish captain sent a challenge, declar- 
ing that ' in order to delight the ladies, who did long to 
see some court-like pastime, he did defy any captain that 
had the command of a company, who durst combat with 
him for his head.' The challenge was accepted by the 
Christian army, it was decided to select the champion by 
lot, and the lot fell upon Smith. A truce was proclaimed 
for the single combat, the besieging army was drawn up 
in battle array, the town walls were crowded with veiled 
dames and turbaned warriors, the combatants on their 
horses politely exchanged salutes, and then rushed at each 
other with levelled lances. At the first thrust Smith 
killed the Turk, and dismounting, unfastened his helmet, 
cut off his head and carried it to the commanding general 
who accepted it graciously. The Turks were so chagrined 


that one of their captains sent a personal challenge to 
Smith, and next day the scene was repeated." This time 
both lances were shivered and pistols were used. The 
Turk received a ball which threw him to the ground and 
then Smith beheaded him. " Some time afterward our 
victorious champion sent a message into the town ' that 
the ladies might know he was not so much enamoured 
of their servants' heads, but if any Turk of their rank 
would come to the place of combat to redeem them, he 
should have his also upon the like conditions, if he could 
win it.' The defiance was accepted. This time the Turk, 
having the choice of weapons, chose battle-axes, and 
pressed Smith so hard that his axe flew from his hand, 
whereat loud cheers arose from the ramparts ; but with a 
quick movement of his horse he dodged his enemy's next 
blow, and drawing his sword gave him a fearless thrust in 
the side which settled the affair; in another moment 
Smith had his head. At a later time, after Prince 
Sigismund had heard of these exploits, he granted to 
Smith a coat-of-arms with three Turk's heads in a 
shield." l 

At a battle fought in 1602 Smith was taken prisoner 
by the Turks and sold into slavery. After enduring 
many hardships he escaped by killing his master and 
made his way to Russia. From there he went to Leipsic, 

1 See Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors," pp. 86-88. 


where he found Prince Sigismund. After travelling for 
some time on the continent he returned to England. 

At the time of Smith's return to London, the Lon- 
don Company had just fitted out an expedition to plant 
a colony in Virginia. There were three ships, with 
Captain Christopher Newport in command. Smith had 
talked with Newport, Gosnold, and other captains who 
had visited America, and his love of adventure and 
strong geographical curiosity urged him to join this 
company. The three ships sailed on New Year's Day 
with 105 colonists on board. The names of the per- 
sons appointed by the London Company to the colonial 
council were carried in a sealed box, not to be opened 
until the little squadron reached the end of its journey. 
The voyage was a long one, as they first went down to 
the Canary Islands and followed Columbus' s route across 
to the West Indies. In the year 1602 Gosnold, who 
was second in command, had crossed directly from the 
English Channel to Cape Cod and it seems strange that 
this shorter route was not tried again. The stock of 
provisions was sadly diminished before the journey was 

Some trouble arose between Smith and Wingfield, one 
of the colonists. Smith was accused of plotting mutiny 
and was kept in irons more than a month until the 
ships reached Virginia. After leaving the West Indies 


they lost their reckoning, but on the 26th of April 
they reached the cape which they named Henry, after 
the Prince of Wales, as the cape opposite was after- 
ward named for his younger brother, Charles. A few 
of the company went on shore, " where they were at 
once attacked by Indians, and two were badly injured 
by arrows. That evening the sealed box was 'opened, 
and it was found that Bartholomew Gosnold, Edward 
Wingfield, John Smith, John Ratcliffe, John Martin, 
and George Kendall were appointed members of the 
council, six in all, of whom the president was to 
have two votes." * 

As the ships sailed into the quiet waters of Hamp- 
ton Roads, leaving the stormy weather they had en- 
countered, they named the promontory at the entrance, 
Point Comfort. Then they entered the broad river 
which they named James, in honor of their king. 
They sailed along the banks until they found a spot 
which seemed suited for a settlement and there they 
landed on the 13th of May. As soon as the company 
had landed, all the members of the council, except 
Smith, were sworn into office and then they chose 
Wingfield president for one year. On the next day 
the men went to work building their fort. They called 
it Fort James, but soon the settlement came to be 

1 Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors." 



known as Jamestown. There was some dispute about 
the site and the one selected was just what they had 
been told to avoid. In their letter of instructions they 
were warned not to select a place that was low and 
damp, as it was likely to prove unhealthful. At high 
tide the waters half covered the little peninsula upon 

which the fort was built, but the 
narrow neck was easy to guard 
and that, perhaps, decided the 
choice of the place. 

Smith was no longer a prisoner 
but his enemies would not admit 
him to the council. Newport was 
to explore the river and Smith, 
with four other gentlemen, four 
skilled mariners, and fourteen 
common sailors, went with him. 
They sailed up about as far as 
the present site of Richmond, fre- 
quently meeting parties of Indians 
on the banks and passing Indian 
villages. Newport was always kind and wise in his deal- 
ings with the Indians, and they seemed quite friendly. 
These Indians were Algonquins, of the tribe called Pow- 
hatans. After a few days the exploring party reached a 
village called Powhatan, consisting of about a dozen houses 



"pleasantly seated on a hill." These were large clan 
houses with framework of beams and covering of bark, 
much like the long houses of the Iroquois. The Pow- 
hatans seemed to be the leading tribe of the neighbor- 
hood. Their principal village was on the York River 
about fifteen miles from Jamestown and the chief who 
lived there was called the Powhatan. 

When Newport and Smith returned to Jamestown, they 
found that it had been attacked by a force of two hundred 
Indians. They had been driven off but one English- 
man had been killed and eleven wounded. In the course 
of the next two weeks these enemies were very annoying. 
They would hide in the grass about the fort and try to pick 
off men with their barbed, stone-tipped arrows. Some of 
their new acquaintances from the Powhatan tribe came to 
visit them and told Newport that the Indians who- had 
attacked Jamestown belonged to a hostile tribe against 
which they would willingly form an alliance. They ad- 
vised the English to cut the grass around the fort, which 
seems to prove that they were sincere in what they said. 

Smith now demanded a trial. Though Wingfield ob- 
jected, a jury was granted and he was acquitted of all the 
charges against him. Then he was allowed to take his 
place in the council. Newport soon after sailed for England 
with a cargo of sassafras, and fine wood for wainscoting. 
He promised to be back in Virginia within twenty weeks. 


but all the food he could leave in the fort was reckoned tc 
be scarcely enough for fifteen weeks, so that the company 
were put upon short rations. One hundred and five people 
were left in Jamestown. A record given at the time sujs 
that besides the six councillors, the clergyman, and the sur- 
geon, there were twenty-nine gentlemen, six carpenters, 
one mason, two bricklayers, one blacksmith, one sailor, 
one drummer, one tailor, one barber, twelve laborers, and 
four boys "with 38 whom he neither names nor 
classifies but simply mentions as ' divers others.' ' The 
food left for this company was not appetizing. After the 
ship was gone, says one of the number, " there remained 
neither tavern, beer-house, nor place of relief but the com- 
mon kettle ; . . . and that was half a pint of wheat and 
as much barley, boiled with water, for a man a day ; and 
this, having fried some 26 weeks in the ships hold, 
contained as many worms as grains. . . . Our (only) 
drink was water. . . . Had we been as free from all sins 
as gluttony and drunkenness, we might have been canon- 
ized for saints." It seems they found but little game, 
though some caught crabs and sturgeon in the river. The 
poor diet, the great heat of an American summer, and the 
unaccustomed work, soon added sickness to their suffer- 
ings. Before the end of September more than fifty of the 
company were dead. One of the survivors of this dread- 
ful time writes : " There were neuer Englishmen left in a 


forreigne Countrey in such miserie as wee were in this 
new discouered Virginia. Wee watched euery three 
nights, lying on the bare . . . ground, what weather so- 
euer came ; (and) warded all the next day ; which brought 
our men to bee most feeble wretches. Our food was but a 
small Can of Barlie sodden in water to flue men a day. 
Our drink cold water taken out of the River ; which was 
at a floud verie salt : at a low tide full of slime and filth ; 
which was the destruction of many of orr men. Thus we 
lived for the space of fiue months in this miserable dis- 
tresse, not hauing fiue able men to man our Bulwarkes 
upon any occasion. If it had not pleased God to haue put 
a terrour in the Sauages hearts, we had all perished by 
those wild and cruell Pagans, being in that weake estate 
as we ^were ; our men night and day groaning in every 
corner of the Fort most pittiful to heare. If there were 
any conscience in men, it would make their harts to bleed 
to heare the pitiful! murmurings and outcries of our sick 
men without reliefe, euery night and day for the space of 
sixe weekes : some departing out of the World, many times 
three or foure in a night ; in the morning their bodies be- 
ing trailed out of their Cabines like Dogges, to be buried. 
In this sort did I see the mortalitie of diuers of our 
people." A 

Captain Gosnold died of the fever. After his death 

1 Fiske's "Old Virginia and Her Neighbors.' 


the quarrel between Smith and Wingfield was renewed. 
" To control the rations of so many hungry men was no 
easy matter. It was charged against Wingfield that he 
kept back sundry dainties, and especially some wine and 
spirits for himself and a few favored friends; but his 
quite plausible defence is that he reserved two gallons of 
sack for the communion table and a few bottles of brandy 
for extreme emergencies, but the other members of the 
council, whose flasks were all empty, did long for to sup up 
that little remnant." It was also said that he intended 
to take one of the small vessels remaining in the river and 
abandon the colony. He was later required to pay Smith 
heavy damages for defaming his character. He was 
finally deposed and John Eatclift'e was elected in his 

During these troubled times Smith's activity in trading 
with the Indians for corn helped the colony greatly. In 
the autumn so many wild-fowl were shot that the diet 
was greatly improved. In December Smith started on 
a trip for exploration up the Chickahominy River. He 
went as far as his shallop would go, then leaving it with 
seven men to guard it he went on in a canoe with only 
two white men and two Indian guides. After going some 
distance this little party was attacked by two hundred 
Indians, led by a brother of Powhatan. Smith's two com- 
rades were killed and he was captured, but not until he 


had slain two Indians with his pistol. " It was quite like 
the quick-witted man to take out his ivory pocket com- 
pass, and to entertain the childish minds of the barbarians 
with its quivering needle which they could plainly see 
through the glass, but, strange to say, could not feel when 
they tried to touch it. Very like him it was to improve 
the occasion with a brief discourse on star craft, eked out 
no doubt with abundant gesticulation, which may have 
led his hearers to regard him as a wizard." They did not 
seem to agree as to what they should do with him. He 
was tied to a tree and a cruel death seemed to await him, 
when the chief held up the compass. Then the captive 
was untied and the Indians marched away through the 
forest, taking him with them. 

After some time spent in wandering from place to 
place, he was brought before the Powhatan, who received 
him in his long wigwam. " The elderly chieftain sat 
before the fireplace, on a kind of bench, and was covered 
with a robe of raccoon skins, all with the tails on and 
hanging like ornamental tassels. Beside him sat his 
young squaws, a row of women with their faces and bare 
shoulders painted bright red and chains of white shell 
beads about their necks stood around by the walls, and in 
front of them stood the grim warriors." Smith, in his 
account of what followed, says the Indians departed 
together and presently two big stones were placed before 



the chief and Smith was dragged hither and his head 
laid upon them; but even while warriors were standing. 

This picture was drawn by an artist from Captain Smith's own description. 

with clubs in hand, to beat his brains out, the chief's 
young daughter, Pocahontas, rushed up and embraced 


him and laid her head upon his to . shield him, whereupon 
her father spared his life. 1 "Two days afterward the 
Powhatan ' having disguised himselfe in the most 
fearfullest manner he could/ caused Captain Smith to be 
brought forth to a great house in the woods, and there 
upon a mat by the fire be left alone. Not long after from 
behind a mat that divided the house was made ' the most 
dolefullest noyse he ever heard.' Then the old chieftain, 
looking more like the devil than a man, came to Smith 
and told him that now they were friends and he might 
go back to Jamestown ; then if he would send to the 
Powhatan a couple of cannon and a grindstone, he should 
have in exchange a piece of land in the neighborhood, and 
that chief would evermore esteem him as his own son." 
The next time Smith visited the Powhatan he was called 
by this chief a " werowance," or chief of the tribe. The 
Powhatan also ordered " that all his subjects should so 
esteem us, and no man account us strangers . . . but 
Powhatans, and that the corn, women, and country should 
be to us as to his own people." 

On the very day that Smith returned to Jamestown, 
Captain Newport arrived with 120 colonists. There were 
only 38 men who had survived the hardships at James- 
town. The supply of food brought by the ships was not 
enough for so many people, so Smith took his " Father 

1 See Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors," pp. 102-111. 


Newport " to visit the Powhatan. With blue glass beads 
they bought a large quantity of corn. In the spring 
Newport sailed for England again and Wingfield went 
with him. In the summer of 1608 Smith made two 
voyages of exploration up the Chesapeake Bay and into 
the Potomac, Patapsco, and Susquehanna rivers. He 
met some Iroquois warriors and found them carrying a 
few French hatchets which had evidently come from 
Canada. During his absence there was trouble at James- 
town and Ratcliffe was deposed. On Smith's return, in 
September, he was at once chosen president. Only 28 
were lost this year, and when Newport arrived in Sep- 
tember with 70 more persons, the colony numbered 200. 
There were two women in this company. 

The London Company was getting impatient with the 
great expense and small return from the colony, and had 
told Newport " that he must find either the way to the 
South Sea, or a lump of gold, or one of White's lost 
colonists, or else he need not come back and show his 
face in England." When Smith heard these instructions 
he "bluntly declared that the London Company were 
fools, which seems to have shocked the decorous mariner." 
Newport was also ordered to crown their "new ally, 
the mighty Emperor Powhatan. Newport and Smith 
did it, and much mirth it must have afforded them. The 
chief refused to come to Jamestown, so Mahomet had to 



go to the mountain. Up in the long wigwam the two 
Englishmen divested the old fellow of his raccoon skin 
garment and put on him a scarlet robe which greatly 
pleased him. Then they tried to force him down upon 


his knees which he did not like at all while they put 
the crown on his head. When the operation was safely 
snded, the forest-monarch granted acquiescence, and 
handed to Newport his old raccoon skin cloak as a present 
for his royal brother in England." 


Newport was not able to find a nugget of gold or anj? 
traces of Eleanor Dare and her friends. The Indians 
told him that there were mountains westward and that 
it would be useless to look for a salt sea there. New- 
port tried, however, and came back tired out before he 
reached the Blue Ridge. Of these adventures one of the 
colonists says : " Now was there no way to make us 
miserable but to neglect that time to make our provision 
whilst it was to be had ; the which was done to perfourme 
this strange discovery, but more strange coronation. To 
lose that time, spend that victuall we had, tire and 
strane our men, having no means to carry victuall, mu- 
nition, the hurt or sicke, but their own backes: how or 
by whom they were invented I know not ... as for 
the coronation of Powhatan and his presents of bason, 
ewer, bed, clothes, and such costly nouelties ; they had 
bin much better well spared than so ill spent; for we had 
his favour much better onlie for a poore peece of copper, 
till this stately kinde of soliciting made him so much 
overvalue himselfe, that he respected us as much as 
nothing at all." 

Newport returned to England and took with him 
Ratcliffe, the deposed president, thus ridding the colony 
of a man of doubtful character. It is said his real 
name was Sickelmore and that he had taken the other 
name to conceal his past. With Newport, Smith sent 


his new map of Virginia, showing the country he had 
discovered and explored. This was "a map of remark- 
able accuracy and witness to an amount of original 
labor that is marvellous to think of. ... None but a 
man of heroic mould could have done the geographical 
work involved in making it. 

"With the map Smith sent what he naively calls 
his 'Rude Answer' to the London Company, a paper 
bristling with common sense and not timid when it 
comes to calling a spade a spade." 

It was thought in England that Virginia would bring 
much wealth to the mother country. In a play per- 
formed on the stage in 1605 one of the characters asks 
of Virginia, " But is there much treasure there, Cap- 
tain, as I have heard?" and the answer is: "I tell 
thee, gold is more plentiful there than copper is with 
us; and for as much red copper as I can bring I'll 
have thrice the weight in gold. Why, man, all their 
dripping-pans are pure gold, and all the chains with 
which they chain up their streets are massy gold, all 
the prisoners they take are fettered in gold; and for 
rubies and diamonds they go forth on holidays and 
gather 'em by the seashore to hang on their children's 
coats, and stick in their children's caps." 

It was in search of gold that so many gentlemen 
came to this new country. Then to care for it there 


were two goldsmiths, two refiners, and one jeweller 
brought over with the first supply. At this time some 
one discovered a bank of bright yellow dirt which was 
thought to contain gold. Then "there was no thought, 
no discourse, no hope, and no work but to dig gold, 
wash gold, refine gold, and load gold." On his return 
"Newport carried a shipload of the yellow stuff to 
London, and found, to his chagrin, that all is not gold 
that glitters. On that same voyage he carried home a 
coop of plump turkeys, the first that ever graced an 
English bill of fare." 

Smith soon gave up the search for gold and turned 
his thoughts to other industries. Valuable timber was 
cut and the making of tar and soap was tried ; also 
the manufacture of glass. These efforts were not very 
successful. The London Company was not satisfied with 
a few shiploads of rough boards and sassafras where 
they had expected gold and jewels. Then Wingfield 
and other enemies of Smith had criticised his manage- 
ment of the colony before the London Company. When 
the instructions brought by Newport with the second 
supply were read, something said therein made Smith 
angry and provoked the "Rude Answer" with which 
he tries to defend himself. Of the quarrels among the 
colonists he says : " For our factions, unless you would 
have me run away and leave the country, I cannot pre- 


vent them. ... I do make many stay that would els fly 
any whither." Of the tasks asked of Captain Newport 
he says : " Expressly to follow your directions by Cap- 
tain Newport, though they be performed, I was directly 
against it; but according to our Commission, I was 
content to be ruled by the major part of the council , 
I fear to the hazard of us all ; which is now generally- 
confessed when it is too late. . . . For him (Newport) 
at that time to find the South Sea, a mine of gold, or 
any of them sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, I told them 
was as likely as the rest. But during this great voyage 
of discovery of thirty miles (which might as well have 
been done by one man, and much more, for the value 
of a pound of copper at a seasonable time) they had the 
pinnace and all the boats with them (save) one that re- 
mained with me to serve the fort. 

"In their absence I followed the new begun works 
of pitch and tar, glass, soap ashes and clapboard; 
whereof some small quantities we have sent you. 

"For the coronation of Powhatan, by whose advice 
you sent him such presents I know not; but this, give 
me leave to tell you, I fear will be the confusion of us 
all ere we hear from you again. At your ship's arrival 
the salvage's harvest was newly gathered and we going 
to buy it ; our own not being half sufficient for so great 
a number. As for the two (ship-loads) of corn New- 


port promised to provide us from Powhatan, he brought 
us but 14 bushels. From your ship we had not provi- 
sion or victuals worth <20, and we are more than 200 to 
live upon this ; the one half sick, the other little better. 
Our diet is a little meal and water, and not sufficient of 
that. Though there be fish in the sea, fowls in the air, 
and beasts in the woods, their bounds are so large, they 
so wild, and we so weak and ignorant that we cannot 
much trouble them. 

66 When you send again, I entreat you send but 30 
carpenters, husbandmen, gardeners, fishermen, black- 
smiths, masons, and diggers up of trees' roots, well pro- 
vided (rather) than 1000 of such as we have ; for 
except we be able both to lodge them and feed them, 
the most will consume with want of necessaries before 
they can be made good for anything." 

That Smith had labored with some of the gentlemen 
with some success is shown by the testimony of Amos 
Todkill, one of the first company of settlers. He tells 
how Smith conducted a party of thirty of them five 
miles from the fort "to learn to ... cut down trees 
and make clapboard." Two lately arrived gallants were 
among the number, "both proper gentlemen. Strange 
were these pleasures to their conditions; yet lodging, 
eating and drinking, working or playing, they (were) 
but doing as the President did himselfe. All these 


things were carried on so pleasantly as within a week 
they became masters; making it their delight to heare 
the trees thunder as they fell ; but the axes so oft blis- 
tered their tender fingers that many times every third 
blow had a loud othe to drowne the eccho; for remedie 
of which sinne, the President devised how to have 
every man's othes numbred, and at night for every othe 
to have a cann of water powred downe his sleeue, with 
which every offender was so washed (himself e and all) 
that a man should scarce hear an othe in a weeke. 

' For he who scorns and makes but jests of cursings and his othe 
He doth contemne, not man but God, nor man, but both.' 

" By this let no man thinke that the President and these 
gentlemen spent their time as common wood hackers 
at felling of trees, or such other like labours; or that 
they were pressed to it as hirelings or common slaves; 
for what they did, after they were but once inured, it 
seemed and some conceited it only as a pleasure and 
recreation : ... 30 or 40 of such voluntary gentlemen 
would doe more in a day than 100 of the rest that must 
be prest to it by compulsion." Then he adds, "twenty 
good workmen had been better than them all." 

After Newport was gone, the thing that Captain Smith 
had feared came to pass. The Indians refused to furnish 
them with corn. During the past winter Pocahontas 


had often visited the colony, bringing presents of corn 
and game, and had thus helped to keep off famine. But 
the Indians were growing jealous of the increasing num- 
bers of the settlers and wished to get rid of them. When 
Smith first visited the Powhatan, he had been asked why 
the English had come to this part of the world. Smith 
did not think it safe to say that they had come to stay, 
so he invented a story of their being defeated by the 
Spaniards and driven ashore. As their boat was leaky, 
Father Newport had left them while he went away to 
get it mended. Now Father Newport had come twice 
and had brought many more children than he had taken 
away. There were now two hundred men at Jamestown. 
" Every painted and feathered warrior knew that these 
pale children were not good farmers, and that their lives 
depended upon a supply of corn. By withholding this 
necessary of life, how easy it might be to rid the land 
of their presence." 1 

As winter came on and the Indians refused to sell 
their corn, the condition of the colonists became serious. 
Smith decided that if the Indians would not trade of their 
own free will, they must be made to trade. The Pow- 
hatan had asked for help on a house he was building 
and Smith sent him fourteen men. He soon followed 
with twenty-seven men in the pinnace and barge. When 

1 Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors." 


they stopped the first night, a chieftain told them to be- 
ware of the treachery of the Powhatan, who intended 
to kill them. " Captain Smith thanked the red-skin 
for his good counsel, assured him of his undying affec- 
tion, and went on down the river to Hampton." Here 
he was kindly welcomed by a small tribe of Indians 
numbering about twenty warriors. A storm of snow 
and sleet lasting about a week, from December 30, 1608, 
to January 6, 1609, made the party stay in the well- 
warmed wigwams of their friends. They were well fed 
with oysters, fish, venison, and wild-fowl. When they 
continued their journey and came near the York River, 
the Indians seemed less friendly. When they reached 
the village of the Powhatan, "the river was frozen for 
nearly half a mile from shore, but Smith rammed and 
broke the ice with his barge until he had pushed up to 
a place where it was thick enough to walk safely." 
The barge was sent back to the pinnace to bring the 
rest of the party. When all were landed, they took 
possession of the first house they came to and sent to 
the Powhatan for food. He sent them venison, turkeys, 
and corn bread. 

The next day the chief visited them and asked them 
how long they meant to stay. He said he had not asked 
the English to come to see him and he had no corn for 
them. He knew, however, where he could get forty 


baskets of it, if they would give a sword for each 
basket. Smith pointed to the new house already begun 
and to the men he had sent to build it. " Powhatan," 
he said, " I am surprised to hear you say that you have 
not invited us hither ; you must have a short memory." 
This answer made the old chieftain laugh, but he in- 
sisted that he would sell his corn for swords and guns, 
but not for copper. He could eat corn but not copper. 
Then Captain Smith said : " Powhatan, to testify my love 
I sent you my men for your building, neglecting mine 
own. Now you think by consuming the time we shall 
consume for want, not having wherewith to fulfil your 
strange demands. As for swords and guns, I told you 
long ago I had none to spare. You must know that 
the weapons I have can keep me from want, yet steal 
or wrong you I will not, nor dissolve that friendship we 
have mutually promised, except you constrain me by bad 

The Powhatan, understanding the threat, quickly said 
that he would soon let the English have all the corn he 
could spare. Then he said, " I have some doubt, Cap- 
tain Smith, about your coming hither, which makes me 
not so kindly seek to relieve you as I would. For many 
do inform me that your coming hither is not for trade 
but to invade my people and possess my country. They 
dare not come to bring you corn, seeing you thus armed 


with your men. To free us of this fear, leave your 
weapons aboard the ship, for here they are needless, we 
being all friends, and forever Powhatans." 

" With many such discourses," says the chronicle, " did 
they spend the day ; and on the morrow the parley was 
renewed." Again and again the old chief insisted that be- 
fore the corn could be brought, the visitors must leave 
their arms on shipboard ; but Smith was not so blind as 
to walk into such a trap. He said, " Powhatan, the vow 
I made you of my love, both myself and my men have 
kept. As for your promise, I find it every day violated 
by some of your subjects ; yet for your sake only we have 
curbed our thirsting desire for revenge; else had they 
known as well the cruelty we use to our enemies as our 
true love and courtesy to our friends. And I think your 
judgment sufficient to conceive as well by the adven- 
tures we have undertaken as by the advantage we have 
in our arms over yours that had we intended you any 
hurt, we could long ere this have effected it. Your peo- 
ple coming to Jamestown are entertained with then 1 bows 
and arrows, without any exceptions; we esteeming it 
with you as it is with us, to wear our arms as our apparel. 
As for your hiding your provisions ... we shall not so 
unadvisedly starve as you conclude ; your friendly care in 
that behalf is needless, for we have ways of finding food 
that are quite beyond your knowledge." 


The hint that the white men could get along without 
his corn had its effect upon the Powhatan. Baskets filled 
with corn were brought, but before they were given to 
Smith the chief said : " Captain Smith, I never used any 
chief so kindly as yourself, yet from you I receive the 
least kindness of any. Captain Newport gave me swords, 
copper, clothes, a bed, towels, or whatever I desired ; ever 
taking what I offered him, and would send away his guns 
when I entreated him. None doth refuse to do what I 
desire but only you; of whom I can have nothing but 
what you regard not, and yet you will have whatsoever 
you demand. You call me father, but I see you will do 
what you list. But if you intend so friendly as you say, 
send hence your arms that I may believe you." 

Smith felt sure that this whimpering speech was merely 
the cover for a meditated attack. Of his thirty-eight 
Englishmen but eighteen were with him at the moment. 
He sent a messenger to his vessels, ordering all save a 
guard of three or four men to come ashore, and he set 
some Indians to work breaking the ice, so that the barge 
could be forced up near to the bank. For a little while 
Captain Smith and John Russell were left alone in a 
house with the Powhatan and a few squaws, when all at 
once the old chief slipped out and disappeared from view. 
While -Smith was talking with the women a crowd of 
armed warriors surrounded the house, but instantly Smith 


and Russell sprang forth and with drawn swords charged 
upon them so furiously that they all turned and fled, 
tumbling over one another in their headlong terror. 

Now the English felt sure of a plot against them, but 
the Indians " to the uttermost of their skill sought ex- 
cuses to dissemble the matter ; and Powhatan, to excuse 
his flight and the sudden coming of this multitude, sent 
our Captain a great bracelet and a chain of pearl, by an 
ancient orator that bespoke us to this purpose ; perceiving 
even then from our pinnace, a barge and men departing 
and coming unto us : Captain Smith, our chief is fled ; 
fearing your guns, and knowing when the ice was broken 
there would come more men, sent these numbers but to 
guard his corn from stealing, which might happen with- 
out your knowledge. Now, though some be hurt by your 
misprision, yet the Powhatan is your friend, and so will 
ever continue. Now since the ice is open he would have 
you send away your corn, and if you would have his com- 
pany send away also your guns." Captain Smith did not 
send away his guns, and "never set eyes on his Father 
Powhatan again. With faces frowning, guns were loaded 
and cocked, the Englishmen stood by while a file of 
Indians with baskets on their backs carried down the 
corn and loaded it into the barge." l 

The Englishmen would have departed at once, but the 

1 Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors." 



tide had left their boat stranded and they must wait foi 
high water. They decided to pass the night in the house 
where they were already quartered as it was some dis- 
tance from the village, and they sent word to the Powha- 
tan to send them some supper. Here Pocahontas, that 

"dearest jewel, in that dark 
night came through the irk- 
some woods, and told our 
Captain great cheer should 
be sent us by and by, but 
Powhatan and all the power 
he could make would after 
come kill us all, if indeed 
they that brought it did 
nob kill us when we were 
at supper. Therefore, if 
we would live she wished 
us presently to be gone. 
Such things as she delighted in we would have given 
her ; but with the tears running down her cheeks she 
said she durst not be seen to have any, for if Powhatan 
should know it she were but dead ; and so she ran away 
by herself as she came." 1 

Soon eight or ten Indians came with venison and other 
dainties " and begged the English to put out the matches 

1 Fiske's " Old Virginia and Her Neighbors." 



of their matchlocks, for the smell of the smoke made 
them sick." Smith sent them back to the Powhatan 
with the message, " If he is coming to visit me to-night 
let him make haste, for I am ready to receive him." The 
Powhatan did not come. A few scouts prowled about, but 
the English kept guard till high tide and then sailed 

The courage and tact of Smith had preserved peace 
between the Powhatan and the English, and his fear- 
lessness and quick action helped them in another ad- 
venture on the way home. When they arrived at his 
village, the brother of the Powhatan, chief of the 
Pamunkeys, received them pleasantly, but soon they 
were surrounded by a great crowd of armed warriors. 
It did not seem best to fire upon the crowd, as Smith 
was anxious to avoid bloodshed. Smith, with three 
men, rushed into the chieftain's house, " seized him by 
the long scalp-lock, dragged him before the astonished 
multitude, and held a pistol to his breast." This so 
frightened the Indians that they hurriedly brought out 
their corn, and the vessels made their way back to 
Jamestown " loaded with some 300 bushels of it, besides 
a couple of hundred-weight of venison and deer suet. 
In itself it was but a trifle of a pound of meat and a 
bushel and a half of grain for each person in the col- 
ony But the chief result was the profound impression 


made upon the Indians." It seems that they decided 
that such brave men were better as friends than^ as 

Now that the fear of the Indians was past, Captain 
Smith had time to look after affairs at Jamestown. 
Things there were in a bad state. The chief difficulty 
lay in the fact that the colony had been begun on a 
communistic plan, that is, everything was owned in 
common. Each man worked not for himself and family 
but for the whole community. Whatever he got in 
hunting or fishing, or trading with the Indians,. was for 
all and not for himself. The idle and lazy fared as 
well as the hardest worker, and so easy was it to live 
without work that the time came when some thirty or 
forty people were supporting the whole colony of two 
hundred. Then Smith " applied the strong hand." He 
called them together one day and told them that as 
their lawfully chosen ruler he had a right to punish 
those that would not obey his laws, and they must all 
understand that hereafter he that will not work shall 
not eat. The rule was enforced and for a while the 
colony prospered. " By the end of April twenty houses 
had been built, a well of pure sweet water had been 
dug in the fort, thirty acres or more of ground had 
been broken up and planted, and nets and weirs ar- 
ranged for fishing. A few hogs and fowl had been left 


by Newport, and now could be heard the squeals of 
sixty pigs and the peeping of five hundred spring 
chickens. The manufacture of tar and soap-ashes went 
on, and a new fortress was begun in an easily defensi- 
ble position, upon a commanding hill." 

But a new trouble arose. Rats, brought over from 
time to time by the ships, had increased rapidly and 
made such havoc in the granaries that little corn was left. 
It was not a long time before harvest and work were 
stopped while everybody searched for food. The Ind- 
ians were friendly and traded what they could spare, 
but that was not much. By midsummer the settlers 
were scattered, some among the Indians, some were 
picking berries in the woods, and others down at Point 
Comfort fishing. It was the fishermen " that were the 
first to hail the bark of young Samuel Argall, who was 
coming for sturgeon and whatever else he could find, 
and had steered a straighter course from London than 
any mariner before him." Argall brought letters from 
the company complaining that the goods sent home in 
the ships were not of greater value, and saying that 
Smith had been accused of dealing harshly with the 
Indians. He also brought news that a great expedi- 
tion, commanded by Lord Delaware, was about to sail 
for Virginia. 

Part of the new expedition reached Virginia in 


August, and unfortunately the mischief-maker, Ratcliffe, 
was with them. He instantly called upon Smith to 
abdicate and some of the newcomers supported him. 
But the old settlers were loyal to Smith, and there 
was much confusion until the latter arrested Ratclrffe 
as a disturber of the peace. The newcomers were, as 
Smith says, "unruly gallants, packed thither by their 
friends to escape ill destinies." They were sure to 
make trouble but for a while Smith held them in 
check. He decided to find a better site for a colony 
than the low marshy Jamestown. In September he 
sailed up to the Indian village of Powhatan and bought 
of the natives a tract of land near the present site of 
Richmond. This was a range of hills that could be 
easily defended, with so fair a landscape that Smith 
called the place Nonesuch. On his way back to James- 
town a bag of gunpowder in his boat exploded and 
wounded him so badly that he was obliged to go to 
England in the ship that sailed in October, for surgical 

The winter after Smith left the colony was one of 
great suffering to the settlers and is known as "the 
starving time." Of the 490 persons in the colony in 
October, only 60 lived through the winter. One of 
these survivors wrote of Smith : " What shall I say ? 
but thus we lost him that in all his proceedings made 


justice his first guide and experience his second; ever 
hating baseness, sloth, pride, and indignity more than 
any dangers; that never allowed more for himself than 
his soldiers with him ; that upon no danger would 
send them where he would not lead himself; that 
would never see us want what he either had, or could 
by any means get us ; that loved actions more than 
words, and hated falsehood and covetousness worse than 
death; whose adventures were our lives, and whose 
loss our deaths." 

In 1614 Smith again visited America, being sent out 
by the Plymouth Company to explore the coast given 
to it. He sailed from Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod 
and made an excellent map of the coast. He called 
the country New England, the name by which it has 
been known ever since. The next year Smith started 
on another expedition but was captured by a French 
squadron and taken to France. He was again in Eng- 
land when Pocahontas, who had married an English- 
man named John Rolfe, made her visit at court. She 
was received as a princess, for the English in London 
still thought of her father as a mighty sovereign. 
Smith was making preparations for another voyage to 
New England when he heard of Pocahontas's arrival 
and called on her. When he called her Lady Rebekah. 
as all did in England, " she seemed hurt and turned 


away, covering her face with her hands. She insisted 
upon calling him Father and having him call her his 
child, as formerly in the wilderness. Then she added, 
6 They did always tell us you were dead, and I knew 
not otherwise till I came to Plymouth/ " 

The remaining sixteen years of Smith's life were spent 
in England writing books, publishing maps, and encour- 
aging emigration to the New World. He was only thirty- 
seven when his adventures ended with his capture by the 
French while on his way to start a colony in New Eng- 
land, but he lived until 1631, long enough to know that 
a successful settlement had been made in New England 
and that Virginia was prospering. 



IN 1605 an English noble became so much interested 
in the reports of the fine country about Cape Cod which 
Gosnold had before visited, that he fitted out a ship with 
Captain Weymouth to visit and examine the country 
still further. Captain Weymouth came in sight of Cape 
Cod and was driven by the winds northward, where he 
entered the broad mouth of a noble river, the Kennebec. 
He and his companions were delighted with the forest- 
covered hills and wide river mouths, where hundreds of 
great ships might safely anchor. They found the coast 
waters swarming with excellent fish, of which they 
caught cod four and five feet long. Noble forests 
clothed the hillsides, from which lumber for building and 
for ships could be had. Game on land was plentiful ; 
the springs and brooks coming from the valleys were 

They made special efforts to win the friendship of the 
Indians and to excite their wonder and respect for white 
men. Weymouth had been authorized to capture and 
bring back with him to England some of these natives, 



But they were so timid and suspicious that at first he 
could not entice them into his ship. But he finally suc- 
ceeded in kidnapping five of the Indians and, getting 
them on board, sailed for home. 

On his return to England with his captive Indians, 
Captain Weymouth gave a glowing description of the 
Kennebec as a place for planting a colony. The broad 
mouth of the river leading up into a well-wooded country, 
where beaver skins and other furs could be purchased 
of the Indians for trifles, seemed to offer a great tempta- 
tion to settlers. The abundance and variety of fishing 
along the coast, the good harbors, and the prospect for 
raising plenty of vegetables and maize also gave much 
encouragement. In the summer-time, especially, the coun- 
try was beautiful, and with the boundless resources of 
land and sea, and with friendly natives, the success of a 
settlement seemed certain. 

At any rate Weymouth' s reports awakened much 
interest in England, and the next year the Plymouth 
Company, under the leadership of Sir John Popham, who 
was chief justice of England, sent out a colony of 120 
persons to settle at the mouth of the Kennebec. On the 
last of July they got sight of the coast of Maine, and 
the two ships, the Mary and John and the Gift of God, 
sailed along the coast till they reached the mouth of the 
Kennebec. The Indians became friendly when they saw 



with the whites one of the Indians whom Weymouth had 
carried off. 

On Sunday the colonists landed upon an island at the 
mouth of the Kennebec and held a religious service, the 
first upon the shores of New England. 

After exploring the coast until the middle of August, 
they returned to the mouth of the Kennebe^ and landed 


at a place near the island of Sequin. Here the designs of 
the Company were explained to the settlers and soon 
all were actively at work carrying out these plans. 
Among the first buildings constructed were a fort and a 
storehouse. Trees were cut down, a clearing was made ; 
the carpenters began to trim the logs and frame them 
into buildings. The surrounding forests furnished abun- 
dant building materials and a large number of log cabins 


were built. Before the winter set in the colonists were so 
industrious that they had completed the fort and mounted 
twelve cannon upon its walls, built a storehouse and 
church, and finished about fifty cabins. 

During the same time the ship-builders had put to- 
gether a pinnace, or small sailing vessel supplied with 
oars, with which they could explore the coasts, inlets, 
and rivers. In the meantime Captain Gilbert was explor- 
ing the neighboring coasts and getting acquainted with 
the surrounding country. 

The Indians scarcely knew what to make of these white 
people. They were suspicious of them, yet very curious 
to watch and discover their plans. While they were in- 
clined to be hostile, they had great respect for the guns 
and other weapons of the white men. The natives had 
only bows, arrows, and spears, to match the armor and 
guns of the whites. The latter were afraid to trust the 
Indians, and therefore had to carry about their heavy 
guns, and were burdened also with steel armor, sword, and 
head-dress. It was difficult, therefore, to move about 
quickly. Once in going up the river in a boat, Gilbert 
had a narrow escape from battling with the Indians. 
They suddenly threw his firebrand for lighting the guns 
into the river, threatened the whites with their arrows, 
and seized the ropes to draw the boat ashore. But 
the whites frightened the Indians by pointing their 


guns at them as if to shoot and they ran off to the 



As the winter came on, it proved much more severe than 
they expected. Instead of the green foliage of summer, 
the bleak hills were covered with snow and in spite of 
their preparations they suffered many hardships. Some 
of the men fell sick. George Popham, the president, and 
others also of the colony died. The winter lasted longer 
than usual and before the warm days of spring returned 
many had grown homesick. This new land had not come 
up to their expectations. 

In the spring a ship came laden with full supplies of 
food, arms, and tools, and all things needful for the colony. 
But it also brought the report that Lord Popham, the 
brother of George Popham and the chief supporter of 
the enterprise, was dead. Captain Gilbert, who since the 
death of George Popham had been leader of the colonists, 
heard that his own brother, whose estates he inherited, was 
dead and he was anxious to get back to England. There 
was no one left to lead a colony to success, and it was 
decided to abandon the attempt to found one and to 
return to England. 

Upon their return home the colonists spread the report 
that the coasts of New England were too cold and severe 
for permanent settlement, and no attempt was made for 
several years to repeat the experiment. 



IN the month of April, 1614, with two ships from 
London, of a few merchants, I chanced to arrive in New 

England, a part of 
America, at the isle 
of Mohegan in 43| 
of northerly latitude. 
Our plan was there 
to take whales and 
make trial of a mine 
of gold and copper. 
If those failed, fish 
and furs were then our 
refuge. We found 
the whaling a costly 
affair. We saw many 
and spent much time 
chasing them, but 

could not kill any, 

besides they were not the kind that yield fins and oil. As 
for the gold mine, it was rather a device to get a voyage 

1 Condensed and slightly modified from Captain Smith's own account. 



started than any knowledge of such a mine. By our late 
arrival and long time spent after whales, we lost the best 
time for fishing and furs. Yet in July some fish were 
taken but not enough to pay our expenses. 

While the sailors fished, myself, with eight or nine 
others of them that might best be spared, ranged the 
coast in a small boat. We got for trifles near eleven hun- 
dred beaver skins, one hundred marten skins, and near as 
many others, and the most of them within the distance of 
twenty leagues. 

We ranged the coast both east and west much farther, 
but eastward our goods were not much esteemed, they 
were so near the French, who offered them better; and 
right over against us on the mainland was a ship of Sir 
Francis Popham's that had much acquaintance there, 
having used only that port many years, and further west 
were two other French ships that had made there a great 
voyage for trade. 

With these furs, oil, and fish, I returned to England in 
the Bark, where within six months after our departure we 
safe arrived back. 

New England is that part of America in the Ocean Sea 
opposite to New Albion (California), discovered by the 
most memorable Sir Francis Drake in his voyage about 
the world. Now because I have been so oft asked such 
strange questions of the goodness and greatness of these 



spacious tracts of land, how they can be thus long un 
known or not possessed by the Spaniards, I entreat your 
pardons if I chance to be too plain or tedious in relating 
iny knowledge for plain men's satisfaction. . . . 



I have drawn a map (of the New England coast) from 
point to point, isle to isle, and harbor to harbor, with the 


soundings, sands, rocks, and landmarks, as I passed close 
along the shore in a little boat, although there be many 
things to be observed which the haste of other affairs did 
cause me to omit. For being sent to get present prod- 
ucts rather than knowledge by discoveries for any future 
good, I had not power to search as I would. 

Thus you may see that of this two thousand -miles of 
coast (east coast of North America) more than half is yet 
unknown to any purpose ; no, not so much as the borders 
of the sea are yet certainly discovered. As for the good- 
ness and true substance of the land, we are for the most 
part ignorant of them. 

That part we call New England is betwixt the degrees 
41 and 45, but that part here spoken of stretcheth from 
Penobscot to Cape Cod, 75 leagues by a right line from 
each other; within which bounds I have seen at least 
forty several habitations upon the sea coast, and sounded 
about 25 excellent good harbors, in many whereof there 
is anchorage for 500 sail of ships of any burden; in 
some of them, for 5000, and more than 200 isles over- 
grown with good timber of divers sorts of wood. 

For their fur trade and merchandize : to each of their 
habitations they have different towns and peoples belong- 
ing, and by their relations and descriptions, more than 
twenty several habitations and rivers that stretch them- 
selves far up into the country, even to the borders of 


divers great lakes, where they kill and take most of theii 
beavers and otters. 

From Penobscot to Sagadahock this coast is all moun- 
tains and isles of huge rocks, but overgrown with all sorts 
of excellent good woods for building houses, boats, barks, 
or ships ; with an incredible abundance of most sorts of fish, 
much fowl, and sundry sorts of good fruits for man's use. 

Betwixt Sagadahock and Sawocatuck there are but two 
or three sandy bays but betwixt that and Cape Cod very 
many. Especially the coast of Massachusetts is so indif- 
ferently mixed with high clayey or sandy cliffs in one 
place, and then tracts of large long ledges of divers sorts 
and quarries of stones, in other places so strongly divided 
with tinctured veins of divers colors : as free stone for 
building, slate for tiling, smooth stone to make furnaces 
and forges for glass or iron, and iron ore, sufficient con- 
veniently to melt them. All which are so near adjoining 
to those other advantages I observed in these parts, that 
if the ore prove as good iron and steel in those parts as 
I know there is within the bounds of the country, I dare 
engage my head (having men skillful to work the sim- 
ples there growing) to have all things belonging to the 
building and rigging of ships of any size and good mer- 
chandize for freight, within a square of ten or fourteen 

And surely by reason of those sandy cliffs and cliffs of 


rocks, both which we saw so planted with gardens and 
corn fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong, 
and well-proportioned people, besides the greatness of the 
timber growing on them, the greatness of the fish and 
the moderate temper of the air, who can but approve 
this a most excellent place both for health and fertility ? 
And of all the four parts of the world that I have yet 
seen not inhabited, could I have but means to transport 
a colony, I would rather live here than anywhere; and 
if it did not maintain itself, were we once indifferently 
well fitted out, let us starve. 

The main staple from hence to be expected for the 
present" to produce the rest, is fish, which however may 
seem a mean and base commodity ; yet whoever will take 
the pains and consider the sequel, I think will allow it 
well worth the labor. 

Here is ground also as good as any that lyeth in the 
height of forty one, forty two, forty three degrees, etc., 
where is as fruitful land as between any parallels in 
the world. 

Therefore, I conclude if the heart and entrails of those 
regions were sought, if their land were cultured, planted, 
and manured by men of industry, judgment, and experi- 
ence, what hope is there or what need they doubt, having 
those advantages of the sea, that it might equal any of 
those famous kingdoms (in Europe) in all commodities, 


pleasures, and conditions; seeing that even the very 
edges do afford us such plenty, that no ship need return 
away empty. If they will but use the season of the sea, 
fish will return an honest gain besides all other advan- 
tages, her treasures having never yet been opened, nor 
her originals wasted, consumed, nor abused. 

The ground is so fertile that questionless, it is capable 
of producing any grain, fruits, or seed you will sow or 
plant, but it may be not every kind to that perfection of 
delicacy, or some tender plants may miscarry, because 
the summer is not so hot, and the winter is more cold in 
those parts we have tried near the sea side, than we find 
in the same latitude in Europe and Asia. Yet I made 
a garden on the top of a rocky isle in 43|, four leagues 
from the maine, in May, that grew so well as it served 
us for salads in June and July. 

All sorts of cattle may here be bred and fed in the isles 
or peninsulas, securely for nothing. In the interim, till 
they increase, observing the seasons, I undertake to -have 
corn enough from the savages. 

In March, April, May, and half of June here is cod in 
abundance, in May, June, July, and August, mullet and 
sturgeon, and surely there is an incredible abundance 
upon this coast. The mullets here are in that abundance 
you may take them with nets, sometimes by the hundreds. 
Much salmon some have found up the rivers as they have 


passed and here the air is so temperate as all these at any 
time may well be preserved. Now young boys and girls, 
savages or any other, be they never such idlers, may turn, 
carry, and return fish, without either shame or any great 
pain. He is very idle that is past twelve years of age 
and cannot do so much and she is very old that cannot 
spin a thread to make nets to catch them. 

Salt upon salt may assuredly be made. Then the ships 
may transport kine, horses, goats, coarse cloth and other 
goods as we want, against whose arrival may be made that 
provision of fish to freight the ships that they stay not. 

Of the muskrat may be well raised gains well worth 
their labor that will endeavor to make trial of their 
goodness. Of beavers, otters, martens, black foxes and 
furs of price, may yearly be six or seven thousand and, if 
the trade of the French were prevented, many more. 

Twenty five thousand this year (1614) were brought 
from those northern parts into France, of which trade we 
may have as good part as the French, if we take good 

Of mines of gold, silver, copper, and probabilities of 
lead, crystal and alum, I could say much if reports were 
good assurances. But I am no alchemist nor will promise 
more than I know, 

But to return a little more to the particulars of this 
country the most northern part I was at was the Bay 


of Penobscot which is east and west, north and south, 
more than ten leagues. I found that this river ran far 
up into the land and was well inhabited with many 
people, but they were away from their habitations, either 
fishing among the isles or hunting the lakes and woods 
for deer and beavers. The bay is full of great islands of 
one, two, six, eight or ten miles in length, which divide 
it into many fair and excellent good harbors. 

On the east of it are the Tarrantines, mortal enemies of 
those at Penobscot; where inhabit the French, as they 
report, that live with those people as one nation or 
family, and northwest of Penobscot is Mecaddacut at 
the foot of a high mountain (a kind of fortress against 
the Tarrantines) adjoining to the high mountains of 
Penobscot, against whose feet doth beat the sea ; but 
over all the lands, isles or other impediments you 
may well see them sixteen or eighteen leagues from 
their situation. 

Up this river (at Sagadahock) where was the western 
plantation, are Anmuckcaugen, Kennebeck and divers 
others, where there are planted some corn-fields. Along 
this river forty or fifty miles I saw nothing but great high 
cliffs of barren rocks, overgrown with wood ; but where 
the savages dwelt, there the ground is exceeding fat and 

Westward of this river is the country Ancosisco, in the 


bottom of a large deep bay, full of many great isles which 
divide it into many good harbors. 

But all this coast to Penobscot and as far as I could see 
eastward of it, is nothing but such high craggy, cliffy 
rocks and stony isles, that I wondered such great trees 
could grow upon so hard foundations. It is a country 
rather to affright than to delight one. And how to 
describe a more plain spectacle of desolation, or more 
barren, I know not. Yet the sea there is the strangest 
fish pond I ever saw ; and those barren isles, so furnished 
with good woods, springs, fruits, fish, arid fowl, that it 
makes me think, though the coast be rocky and affright- 
able, the valleys, plains, and interior parts may well be 
very fertile. But there is no kingdom so fertile that hath 
not some barren part ; and New England is great enough 
to make many kingdoms and countries were it all 

As you pass the coast still westward, Accominticus and 
Passataquach are two convenient harbors for small barks, 
and a good country within their craggy cliffs. Angoam is 
the next. This place might content a right curious judg- 
ment ; but there are many sands at the entrance of the 
harbor and the worst is it is embayed too far from the 
deep sea. Here are many rising hills and on their tops 
and descents many corn-fields and delightful groves. 

From thence (Naimkech) doth stretch into the sea the 


fair headland of Tragabigzanda fronted with three isles 
called the Three Turks' Heads. To the north of this doth 
enter a great bay, where were found some habitations and 
corn-fields. They report a great river and at least thirty 
habitations. But because the French had got their trade, 
I had no leisure to discover it. 

The isles of Mattahunts are on the west side of this 
bay, where are many isles and questionless good harbors, 
and then the country of the Massachusetts, which is the 
paradise of all those parts. For here are many isles all 
planted with corn, groves, mulberries, savages' gardens, 
and good harbors ; the coast is for the most part high, 
clayey, sandy cliffs. The sea-coast as you pass shows 
you all along corn-fields and great troops of well-propor- 
tioned people. But the French, having remained here 
near six weeks, left us no occasion to examine the 
number of people, the rivers, and other things. 

We found the people in those parts very kind but in 
their fury no less valiant. For upon a quarrel we had 
with one of them, he, only with three others, crossed the 
harbor of Quanahassit to certain rocks whereby we must 
pass, and there let fly their arrows for our shot till we 
were out of danger. 

Then came we to Acconmac, an excellent good harbor, 
good land, and no want of anything but industrious peo- 
ple. After much kindness, upon a small occasion, we 


fought also with forty or fifty of those ; though some were 
hurt and some slain, yet within an hour after they became 

Cape Cod is the next that presents itself, which is only 
a headland of high hills of sand, overgrown with shrubby 
pines, hurts, and such trash, but an excellent harbor for 
all weathers. This cape is made by the main sea on one 
side and a great bay on the other in the form of a sickle. 
On it doth inhabit the people of Paumet and in the bot- 
tom of the bay the people of Chawum. 

Toward the south and west of this cape is found a long 
and dangerous shoal of sands and rocks. But so far as I 
encircled it, I found thirty fathoms of water aboard the 
shore and a strong current, which makes me think there 
is a channel about this shoal; where is the best and great- 
est fish to be had winter and summer in all that country. 

The herbs and fruits (of New England) are of many 
sorts : currants, mulberries, vines, plums, walnuts, chest- 
nuts, small nuts, etc., pumpkins, gourds, strawberries, 
beans, peas, and maize ; a kind or two of flax wherewith 
they make nets, lines, and ropes. 

There are eagles, many kinds of hawks, cranes, geese, 
brants, cormorants, ducks, sheldrakes, teals, gulls, turkeys, 
dive-droppers, and many other sorts whose names I know 
not; whales, grampus, porpoises, turbot, sturgeon, cod, 
hake, haddock, cole, shark, mackerel, eels, crabs, lobsters. 



mussels, oysters, and many others ; moose, a beast bigger 
than a stag, deer, red and fallow, beavers, wolves, foxes, 
wildcats, bears, otters, martens, and divers sorts of ver- 
min whose names I know not. 

All these and divers other good things do here for want 

of use increase and decrease. They grow to that abun- 

^ _ dance that you 

shall scarce find 
any bay, shallow 
shore, or cove of 
sand, where you 
may not take 
many clams and 
lobsters, and in 
many places load 
your boat if you 
please ; nor isles 
where you find 
not fruits, birds, or 
crabs, or mussels, 
or all of them, for 
the taking at low 
water. And in the harbors we frequented, a little boy 
might take, of dinners and pinacks and such delicate fish, 
at the ship's stern, more fish than six or ten men can eat 
in a day; but with the casting net thousands when we 



pleased. And scarce any place but cod, cuske, halibut, 
mackerel, skate, or such like, a man may take with a 
hook or line what he will. And in divers sandy bays a 
man may draw with a net great store of mullets, bass, 
and other sorts of such excellent fish, as many as his net 
can draw on shore. 

There is no river where there is not plenty of sturgeon, 
or salmon, or both, all of which are to be had in abun- 
dance, observing but their seasons. But if a man will 
go at Christmas to gather cherries in Kent, he may be 
deceived, though there be plenty in summer. So here 
these plenties have each their seasons, as I have expressed. 



CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS was born at Genoa about 1436. 
The family had been weavers. Columbus was probably 
sent to school till he was about fourteen, when he turned 
to the sea, and for many years made voyages in the Medi- 
terranean, and later beyond that to England, and also 
south along the coast of Africa. 

He became in time an expert geographer and map- 
maker, and, being also an experienced seaman, he made 
charts for sea-captains and merchants. 

His native place, Genoa, in northwestern Italy, was an 
important port and shipping centre for Mediterranean 
countries, and Columbus often returned here between his 
voyages and probably employed his time, while at home, 
in map-making. A number of interesting stories are told 
of his adventures and shipwreck in these early voyages, 
but little is definitely known except that he became a 
thoroughly seasoned and expert sailor and sea-captain. 

About the year 1470 he made his way to Lisbon, where 
his younger brother, Bartholomew, had gone before, as it 

1 Authorities : Fiske's "Discovery of America" and Irving's "Life of 



had become a famous centre for navigators and sea-faring 
men. Under the guidance of Prince Henry of Portugal, 
the Portuguese had become greatly interested in explora- 
tions along the 
west coast of 
Africa. It is 
probable that 
Columbus sailed 
as far as the 
equator on some 
of these voy- 
ages, and he 
himself tells of 
one of his voy- 
ages to England 
and beyond as 
far as Iceland. 

At Lisbon, in 
1473, Columbus 
married a beau- 

tiful Portuguese COLUMBUS 

lady, Philippa, whose father had been governor of Porto 
Santo, one of the Madeira Islands. Soon afterward 
Columbus and his wife went to live for a few years on 
this island. Philippa's father had left property there, 
including valuable charts, and it is believed that, while 


dwelling upon this island, three hundred miles west of 
the coast of Africa, Columbus first formed the idea of 
sailing westward to the coast of India. 

On account of their rich products the lands along the 
southern coast of Asia, known as India, were regarded 
by the people of Europe as the richest of all lands. It 
was supposed that any one who could find an easy way 
to India would gain boundless wealth. Before the 
time of Columbus the trade with India was carried on 
by ships to the Black Sea, where caravans carried goods 
from Bagdad and the Persian Gulf along the Tigris to 
Trebizond. Another caravan route was from the Tigris 
to Damascus and then to the Mediterranean at Tyre 
and Sidon. A third route was by way of Alexandria 
in Egypt, up the Nile and across to the Red Sea. By 
these 'different routes, there were brought from India, 
partly by water, partly by caravan, oil, fruits, gold and 
precious stones, beautiful silks and embroidered robes, 
spices and fine weapons. The trade in these valuable 
products centred in Venice and made that city very rich. 
But the cities along the overland route to northern 
Europe, like those of the Rhine and Danube, were made 
prosperous by this trade with the East. From Europe, 
cotton and woollen goods, toys, and other products were 
sent to India. When Columbus was a boy, the Turks 
conquered Constantinople and closed up the trade routes 


by way of the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf, and later 
they took possession of Egypt also and thus almost 
closed up this way of reaching India. 

Columbus believed that by sailing westward from 
Spain he would come to the islands of India. If such 
a route to the rich lands and cities of India could be 
found, it would be much shorter and easier than by way 
of the Mediterranean and by caravans across the deserts 
to India. 

Columbus had many good reasons for thinking that 
the earth is spherical like a ball, so that India could 
be reached by going westward as well, and perhaps 
better than by going eastward. He had learned some 
things from his own observations as a sailor during 
thirty years and more. By watching ships disappear on 
the sea he had one proof. He had been almost to the 
equator on the south, and to Iceland in the north, and 
he had observed that the North Star and other stars 
toward the north appear higher in the heavens than 
farther south. Besides this, Columbus had read much 
in books of geography and astronomy and had found 
that many of the wisest writers believed the world to 
be shaped like a ball. In order to be still more surely 
convinced, he wrote a letter to Toscanelli, a famous 
astronomer of Florence, explaining his belief that he 
should find India by sailing west. Toscanelli, who 


was an old man of seventy-seven years, was much pleased 
with the letter and plans of a voyage, and not only en- 
couraged Columbus to sail westward but drew a map of 
Spain, Africa, and the Atlantic Ocean, marking down the 
islands and showing how far he thought Columbus 
would need to sail before reaching India. This map 
Columbus kept and used on the voyage. 

Columbus became thus firmly convinced that he could 

reach India by sailing westward across the Atlantic. 


But he had no money with which to build ships and 
hire sailors for so dangerous a voyage. For some 
years he had been at Lisbon from time to time and had 
succeeded in getting an audience with King John II, 
in which he urged his plan upon the king. The king 
did not feel like deciding so difficult a question and 
called a council of geographers and learned men. They 
condemned Columbus's plan, thinking it a wild dream. 
Still the king was interested in the matter and called 
another council of the most learned men in the king- 
dom. Some of the council approved of his plan, but 
others thought it too expensive or dangerous or im- 
possible. King John allowed himself to treat Columbus 
very meanly. Having secured Columbus's charts and 
plans of the voyage, he secretly sent out a ship with a 
captain and crew to see whether they could not find the 
way to India and thus outwit Columbus. The expedi- 


tion proceeded to the Cape Verde Islands and thence sailed 
westward. The captain and sailors had not gone far be- 
fore they became frightened at the great waste of ocean 
around them, so they turned back and on their return to 
Lisbon ridiculed Columbus's plan. When this meanness 
and dishonesty came to the ears of Columbus, he was 
very indignant at the king. He left Portugal at once 
and set out for Spain, where he hoped for better treat- 
ment from the king and queen. 

In the autumn of 1484 Columbus was in Spain with 
his little son, Diego, whom he left with an aunt, his 
mother's sister, at Huelva, near Palos, on the south- 
west coast of Spain. At this time Ferdinand and 
Isabella, king and queen of Spain, were carrying on a 
great war with the Moors, who were not Christians, 
trying to capture the old castle and city of Granada and 
drive the Moors out of Spain into Africa. Then Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella would rule over the whole of Spain 
and be free from the Mohammedan Moors. 

The king and queen were so busy raising money and 
armies to carry on this war that Columbus, for some 
time, was unable to get a hearing. But the Spanish 
treasurer became interested in his ideas and in the fall 
of 1486 a council of learned men was called at the 
University of Salamanca, where much opposition to 
Columbus was shown. His idea that the earth is spheri- 


cal was ridiculed. Texts of scripture were brought up 
against him and some passages of ancient books were 
quoted to prove him in the wrong. Some of the priests 
and scholars, indeed, were strongly in favor of Columbus 
and adopted his views. But nothing was done to help 
him in his undertaking. 

In the fall of 1488 Columbus made another visit to 
Lisbon to see his brother, Bartholomew, who had just 
returned from a great voyage with Diaz, in which they 
had explored southward along the coast of Africa till they 
came to the Cape of Good Hope and thus opened up the 
way to India by passing round Africa. Columbus now 
sent bis brother to England with maps and plans to secure 
the aid of King Henry. He was received and well treated 
by the king but was not given money or ships. Bartholo- 
mew, therefore, set out for France to make another effort. 

Columbus returned to Spain and joined the Spanish 
army fighting against the Moors, where he showed great 
valor as a soldier. Not receiving help from the king, he 
applied to one of the great nobles, the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia, who refused to aid him. Then the Duke of 
Medina-Celi proved a strong friend, kept Columbus at his 
palace for two years, and proposed to fit out some vessels 
with which he could make his voyage. The queen refused 
to grant the duke the privilege but she herself failed to 
take up the matter, and Columbus, disgusted with long 


waiting, resolved to shake off the dust of Spain from his 
feet and to go to France or England. He deserted the 
Spanish court, set out for Huelva to get his little son, 
Diego, who should go with him. As he and the boy were 
walking one afternoon along the road in sight -of the 
ocean, a few miles from Palos, they stopped at a little 
monastery, La Rabida, to get food and drink. At this 
time Columbus was very much discouraged ; for many 
years he had labored with the kings of Portugal and Spain 
to secure help for his great plan, but now, after so many 
years of fruitless toil, he was about to leave Spain and 
start out for new and strange lands and kings to seek 
help. Little did he dream that in this little home 
of monks, a mile or two from Palos, he was to meet the 
man who would greatly aid him in his plan. 

The prior, or head of the monastery, was Juan Perez, 
who saw Columbus and talked with him as he entered the 
gate. He had never before met the navigator; but he 
was a wise man, and as they talked together he became 
interested in Columbus's plan of a great voyage and asked 
many questions. He persuaded Columbus to stay over 
night and sent for a young physician of Palos, Garcia, 
and Martin Pinzon, a sea-captain, who talked over Colum- 
bus's plan with enthusiasm. A few years before, Juan 
Perez had been confessor to Isabella at the court, and he 
now offered to go to court and persuade Isabella to under- 


take the expense of the voyage. He sent a letter to the 
queen and was at once summoned to appear at court. 
After a few weeks he returned from Granada with a sum 
equivalent to $1180 to pay Columbus' s expenses for ap- 
pearing again at court. Columbus bought a court suit, 
a mule, and other things and set out again to visit the 
queen. His little son, Diego, he left with one of the priests. 
As soon as Columbus reached Granada he was well 
received and his plan was again discussed by a council of 
learned men. But, although some opposed him, many 
of the leading men were strong supporters of his plan, 
and the queen promised to undertake it as soon as Gra- 
nada was captured and the war against the Moors ended. 
This happened very soon, in the spring of 1492, but then 
a difficulty arose that threatened to put an end to the 
whole plan. Columbus was unwilling to undertake the 
voyage unless the queen promised to make him admiral of 
the ocean and governor of all the lands he should discover, 
and allow him to receive one-eighth of all the profits 
coming from those lands. The queen felt that these 
demands were too large and the agreement was broken 
off. Columbus refused to undertake the voyage on any 
less favorable terms, so he mounted his mule and started 
to leave the court a ' second time. Some of the chief 
advisers of the queen went to her and urged that she 
was losing a great chance. 



She was persuaded to think the matter over and a swift 
horseman was sent to overtake Columbus, who was found 
jogging along on his mule about six miles from Granada. 
He was persuaded to return and soon an agreement was 
made that was satisfactory to both parties. 


Now, in a second meeting with the queen, it was 
agreed that Columbus should be admiral in all the islands 
and countries he might discover, that he should be gov- 
ernor of these new lands, that he should have for himself 


one-tenth, of all the precious stones, pearls, gold, silver, 
spices, and merchandise obtained in those regions, that he 
should be judge of all disputes arising as to trade in those 
countries. Columbus was to meet one-eighth of all the 
expenses of the fitting out of vessels for the journey. 
Some of Columbus's friends furnished him the money 
for this purpose. The queen herself and her treasurer, 
Santangel, undertook the work, and Ferdinand, the king, 
was not directly concerned in it. 

At the port of Palos, on the southeast coast of Spain, 
Columbus was to prepare his men and fleet. The little 
town itself was required to raise a tax upon its citizens to 
help pay the expense and this they grumbled at. When 
Columbus went down to Palos to begin work, the town 
was in an uproar, the sailors and people were frightened 
by such a voyage out on the great unknown sea. Colum- 
bus was cursed on account of the forced tax but the Pin- 
zon brothers (sea-captains) were his strong friends and 
supported the undertaking. 

Three ships (caravels) were secured, the Santa Maria, 
the admiral's flag-ship, the Pinta, a smaller but swifter 
vessel, and the Nina. The two smaller vessels were not 
decked amidships. Columbus had more trouble in secur- 
ing men than ships. Those going on this rash journey 
scarcely expected to see their homes again. To persuade 
men to join the crews debts were forgiven and some pris- 


oners were released from jail on the promise of going 
with Columbus. Ninety persons were at length secured 
to man the three vessels. August 3, 1492, before sunrise, 
they set" sail from Palos in the midst of sorrow and weep 
ing. They stood southward to the Canaries. Before 
they reached the islands there were bad signs of trouble. 
The Pinta broke her rudder and Columbus suspected that 
its owners, who were on board, had purposely disabled it 
so that their vessel might be left behind. At the Cana- 
ries, Columbus stopped to repair the Pinta. These were 
Spanish islands and a safe place for Spanish ships to stop. 
But even here two things threatened danger. First, it was 
reported that some Portuguese ships were near to prevent 
Columbus sailing. A volcano on one of the islands had 
an eruption and caused a second terror to the supersti- 
tious sailors. But in spite of all these fears, on Septem- 
ber 6, they set sail from the Canaries on the first great 
voyage out into the Atlantic. As they sailed westward 
they saw the lighted mountain behind them sending out 
fire and smoke. A short distance from the coast they were 
becalmed and made only thirty miles in two days. Then 
the breeze freshened and the islands passed out of sight. 
Many of the sailors cried and sobbed like children. 

The weather was fine and but for the fears of the 
sailors this might have been a pleasant voyage. Many 
things happened to excite their anxious fears. Septem- 


ber 13 the ship crossed the line where the needle 
pointed straight north, and Columbus was astonished to 
see that the compass needle began to sway from the 
right to the left of the Pole Star. When the pilots 
found the compass acting so queerly, they thought it 
bewitched and playing a foul trick as a punishment 


for their boldness. Columbus himself, though puzzled, 
soothed their fears with a shrewd explanation. 

On September 16 the vessels entered a vast tract of 
floating seaweed and grasses, where many tunny fish 
and crabs were seen. " They had entered the wonder- 
ful Sargasso Sea, where vast tangles of vegetation cover 


the surface of water more than two thousand fathoms 
deep." At first the ships went through this tangle 
with considerable ease, but, the wind becoming light, they 
found progress difficult. Then the crews became fright- 
ened and thought of stories they had heard of "myste- 
rious impassable seas and of overbold sailors whose 
ships stuck fast in them." Some were afraid they might 
be stranded on shoals, but sounding they were aston- 
ished to find their longest line failed to reach the bot- 
tom. After a few days stronger winds blew and on 
September 22 the ships had passed the sea of grass. 

Now a new fear was aroused in the sailors by the 
trade winds which blew steadily westward. Perhaps 
they would never be able to return in the face of these 
winds. After a while the wind changed to the south- 
west and their fears were quieted. 

The crews were now impatient at not finding land. 
Columbus, fearing this, had kept two logs, one for him- 
self and one for the crew. In the log for the crew he 
never told the full number of miles sailed each day 
and they did not know how far they really were from 
the Canaries. Lately many signs of land had appeared. 
Strange birds were seen flying through the air. A 
mirage showed what appeared to be a coast-line but 
the next morning it was gone, and then the men were 
sure they had reached an enchanted place. Some one 


suggested pushing Columbus overboard in such manner 
that it would seem he had fallen while looking at the 
stars. The fear that the fleet might not be able to 
return to Spain without him probably saved his life. 

On October 4 there were signs of mutiny and Colum- 
bus, to please his pilots, changed his course to the south- 
west. They were now 2724 miles from the Canaries, 
though the log for the crew showed only 2200 miles. 
This change to the southwest, although they did not 
know it, shortened the distance to land about two hun- 
dred miles, as the coast of Florida directly west of them 
was farther than the island they finally reached. On 
October 11 signs of land became unmistakable and all 
were much excited. A reward was promised to the one 
that first saw the land and all watched eagerly. About 
ten o'clock the admiral, standing on the high poop of 
his vessel, saw a moving light as if some one were run- 
ning along the shore with a torch. A few hours later 
a sailor on the Pinta saw land and soon all could see 
the low coast some five miles away. This was at 
two o'clock in the morning of Friday, October 12th just 
ten weeks since they had sailed from Palos and thirty- 
three days since they lost sight of Ferro. The sails 
were now taken in, and the ships lay to, waiting for 

At daybreak Columbus, with most of his men, went 


ashore. Beautiful trees and shrubs were upon every 
side. All was strange and new and beautiful. The 
sailors were wild with delight. They had at last 
reached Cipango (Japan) and her great wealth was 
theirs. The officers embraced Columbus or kissed his 
hands, while the sailors threw themselves at his feet 
and begged his pardon. 

The people of the island gathered around, watching 
the strangers with amazement. The natives were un- 
like any people the Spaniards had ever seen. All were 
naked and most of them were greased and painted. 
They thought the ships were sea-monsters and the white 
men strange creatures from the sky. At first they ran 
away as the strangers came ashore, but finding they 
were not hurt they came slowly back, stopping every 
few paces to throw themselves down to show their 
respect. The Spaniards received them with nods and 
smiles and they soon came close to the visitors and 
touched them, as if to make sure that they were real, 
and not a mere vision. The Spaniards offered them 
presents of glass beads and hawks' bells and received 
in return cotton yarn, tame parrots, and small gold 
ornaments. Columbus tried to ask them, with signs, 
where they got their gold and they pointed to the 
south. Then Columbus decided that he was a little 
north of the rich Cipango. This, he soon discovered 


was a small island and he understood the name to be 
Guanahani. He took formal possession of it for Cas- 
tile and gave it a Christian name, San Salvador. The 
island discovered was one of the Bahamas. The name 
San Salvador is still given to one of this group, though 
perhaps not the one first seen by Columbus. 

For ten days the ships sailed among the Bahamas 
and visited four of the islands. Columbus was satis- 
fied that he was in the ocean east of Cathay, for Marco 
Polo had said it was studded with thousands of spice- 
bearing islands, and some of them were inhabited by 
naked savages. Although he had found no spices, there 
were many strange trees and shrubs; and the air was 
full of fragrance and this might mean anything. When 
the natives were asked where they found their gold, 
they always pointed southward and there must lie the 
island he was seeking. 

He sailed to the south, intending to stay a short time 
at Ciparigo and then sail on to China. 

Soon he reached Cuba and was charmed with the 
beauty of its scenery. Pearl oysters were found along 
the shore. He was sure he had reached Cipango, though 
no large cities could be seen. He tried to talk with the 
natives, and understood them to say that Cuba was a part 
of the Asiatic continent and that there was a king in th', 
neighborhood that was at war with the Great Khan. So 


he sent two messengers, one of them a converted Jew 
who spoke Arabic, a language heard in parts of Asia, to 
find the two kings. These messengers found pleasant 
villages, with large houses surrounded by fields of to- 
bacco and of such unknown vegetables as maize and pota- 
toes. Columbus says in his diary, " The two Christians 
met on the road a great many people going to their vil- 
lages, men and women with brands in their hands, made 
of herbs for taking their customary smoke." The Span- 
iards little dreamed that the tobacco fields would some day 
bring greater wealth than the spices they were seeking. 
They passed acres of growing cotton and saw in the 
houses piles of yarn that was to be woven into rough 
cloth or twisted into nets for hammocks. They found 
neither cities nor kings, neither gold nor spices, and soon 
returned to the coast. 

Columbus was puzzled. If this was the continent of 
Asia, where was Cipango ? He thought the natives said 
there was a great island to the southwest where much 
gold was found, so he sailed in that direction. On the 
20th of November, Martin Pinzon, whose ship could 
outsail the others, deserted him. Pinzon seemed to think 
that he might get credit for the discovery of the islands if 
he first carried home the news. 

For two weeks after Pinzon's desertion, Columbus sailed 
slowly eastward along the coast of Cuba. He found 


pearls and mastic and aloes and it seemed to him there 
were signs of gold. Passing the island, he reached, on 
the 6th of December, the island of Hayti, which he 
called Hispaniola, or "Spanish land." Here again he 
thought the natives spoke of gold inland and, as they 
called the island Cibano, he was sure they meant Cipango 
and that he had at last reached the place he sought. 
The scenery was beautiful. Columbus says : " The land 
is elevated with many mountains and peaks . . . most 
beautiful, of a thousand varied forms, accessible, and full 
of trees of endless varieties, so tall that they almost touch 
the sky ; and I have been told that they never lose their 
foliage. The nightingale and other small birds .of a 
thousand kinds were singing in November (December) 
when I was there." l Before he had done much exploring 
an accident made him change his plans. On Christmas 
morning, through carelessness of the helmsman, the flag- 
ship struck upon a sand-bank, where the waves soon 
dashed her to pieces. 

After the desertion of the Pinta and of her crew and 
captain, the loss of the flag-ship Santa Maria caused 
Columbus to fear that he would not be able to get back 
to Spain. The only ship left, the Nina, was small, and 
might never be able to cross the ocean back to Spain. 
Columbus therefore prepared to return. After the loss of 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


the flag-ship, more men were left than could well return 
on the little Nina, and some of them desired to be left 
on the island to await Columbus' s return on a second voy- 
age. The climate was so delightful and the Indians so 
friendly that the men were eager to stay. Forty of them 
remained on the island. From the wrecked timbers of 
the ship a fort was built and the guns of the lost vessel 
placed upon it, and when the preparations were made, 
Columbus with one ship set sail on his return. 

Two days later, while sailing along the northern coast 
of Hispaniola, the Nina -came in -sight of the Pinta. 
The commander pretended to be glad to see Columbus 
and tried to explain that he had been separated from 
Columbus by bad weather. Columbus was glad to see 
the other ship again and to have her company on the 
return voyage, though he believed that the captain had 
tried to desert him. 

As soon as the ships got out into the ocean they met 
the westward blowing trade- winds which made sailing 
eastward slow and difficult. In order to avoid these trade- 
winds Columbus sailed to the northeast till he reached 
the 37th parallel, which is outside of the limit of trade- 
winds. Then he sailed directly toward Spain. They had 
started back across the ocean on January 4. On Febru- 
ary 12 a storm overtook the two small vessels and tossed 
them with great violence for four days. It was so severe 


and long continued that Columbus almost despaired of 
holding out. Fearing that his ships would both go down, 
he wrote out on parchment two accounts of his voyage 
and discoveries, addressed to Ferdinand and Isabella, 
wrapped them in cloth and then surrounded them with a 
cake of wax. Each of these was securely fastened in a 
tight barrel. One of the barrels was cast overboard. 
The two vessels were separated during the storm and did 
not meet again upon the sea. Before the tempest ceased 
the Nina came in sight of land, which proved to be one 
of the Azores Islands. These belonged to Portugal and 
when a company of Columbus's sailors landed and went to 
one of the churches to offer thanks for their deliverance 
from the storm, they were arrested and cast into prison, 
where they were left five days. Columbus threatened the 
governor with the punishment of Spain unless the men 
were given up and at length they were sent back to the 

As Columbus with his single ship now sailed eastward 
toward Cape St. Vincent, they met another fierce storm 
and were carried to the north, and at length found refuge 
in the harbor of Lisbon at the mouth of the Tagus. But 
here also danger threatened the little crew of the Nina. 
Some of King John's councillors desired him to have 
Columbus arrested or put to death. But King John was 
too wise for this. He invited Columbus to his court and 


treated him honorably and on March 13 allowed him 
to set sail for Palos. Two days later the little ship sailed 
back into the harbor of Palos and was at once recognized 
by the people, who were greatly excited and rejoiced. 
They had scarcely expected to see again the friends who 
had sailed away the year before out into the unknown 
ocean. That evening, while the bells were ringing and 
everybody was rejoicing, the Pinta sailed into the harbor. 
Captain Pinzon of the Pinta, hoping that Columbus had 
gone down in the storm, had written a letter to the king 
and queen, claiming the credit of the discovery for him- 
self. His vessel had been driven northward in the storm 
to France but he returned to Palos on the same day 
as Columbus. He was greatly disappointed in finding 
Columbus already in port. Discouraged and worn out 
and knowing how unjustly he had acted, he died a few 
days later. 

Columbus sent a message to the king and queen of his 
safe arrival but the news had spread to them before the 
letter reached them. He was summoned to appear before 
them at Barcelona and to give an account of his dis- 
coveries. His reception by the king and queen was a 
grand scene. He was bidden to sit down in the presence 
of the monarchs, an honor usually granted only to mem- 
bers of the royal family. The curious products of the 
newly discovered islands parrots, plants, pearls, and 



gold were displayed, and even six savages brought from 
Hispaniola were presented as interesting curiosities. 


The islands discovered by Columbus were supposed 
to be a part of the eastern coast of Asia, especially Japan. 
The whole coast of eastern Asia, called India, was but 
very imperfectly known to Europeans and these natives 
were therefore called Indians. In fact, it was many years 


after this before people found out that the islands dis- 
covered by Columbus are separated from India and 
China by a great continent and by thousands of miles 
of ocean. 

The discovery of these islands and of this supposed 
western route to India was a cause of great pride and 
pleasure to Ferdinand and Isabella. The rich countries 
of India would thus fall into the hands of Spain and 
great wealth was expected. 

King John of Portugal, who had refused to help 
Columbus, felt bitterly disappointed that he had let slip 
this great chance of adding to his kingdom and he was 
very envious of the Spaniards. 

The king and queen were now anxious to send out a 
strong fleet of ships, with soldiers, sailors, and settlers, 
to take possession of the new lands and still further to 
explore this beautiful and boundless region of wealth. 
The war which Ferdinand and Isabella had waged against 
the Moors in southern Spain had ended in the capture of 
the chief Moorish city, Granada, and the expulsion of the 
Moors, and now many soldiers, and even young Spanish 
nobles, were ready to seek adventure and wealth in the 
newly discovered lands of India. 

Columbus, of course, must be the commander of this 
expedition and by the agreement made with Isabella and 
Ferdinand before the first voyage, he was governor-general 


and admiral over all these new countries, with a right 
to keep for himself and his children these honors and 
with them one-tenth of all the wealth obtained. In a 
word, Columbus had become a great Spanish noble and 
men flocked to his ships. 

In September, 1493, he had command of seventeen 
vessels and fifteen hundred men, soldiers, sailors, and 
other adventurers, who were full of joyful enthusiasm 
for discovery and conquest. 

On this voyage Columbus, passing farther south, first 
touched the Caribbean Islands, and, after stopping at 
Porto Rico, passed on to Hispaniola and La Navidad. 
Much to his sorrow he found only the charred ruins of 
the fort in which he had left forty men upon his first 
voyage. The boxes of provisions and chests of tools had 
been broken open and carried away, and the bodies of 
eleven white men were found near the fort. Later, 
Columbus learned from the Indians that the white men 
had quarrelled among themselves and had treated the 
natives so badly that the red men had gathered in large 
numbers, and had attacked and destroyed the fort and 
all the white men. 

Columbus now laid out a town at a good harbor on the 
north coast of Hispaniola, and named it Isabella, where 
he built houses, a market, and a church, and surrounded 
the whole with a stone wall. This place was left under 


the command of his brother, Diego, while Columbus, after 
sending twelve vessels back to Spain for supplies, took 
three ships for a voyage of further exploration. He 
passed along the southern coast of Cuba and the islands 
about a thousand miles, then returned along the coast of 
Jamaica, and finally passed eastward around the southern 
coast of Hispaniola, everywhere searching for rich cities 
which he did not find. 

Just before reaching Isabella, he was taken very sick 
and was for several weeks unconscious. As he recovered 
from this illness at Isabella, he found the affairs of his 
colony in very bad shape. The Spanish soldiers and 
nobles had been quarrelsome and disobedient to the gov- 
ernor and wandered about the island, committing wrongs 
against the natives instead of working and strengthening 
the colony. Two of the leading Spaniards, with their 
friends, seized a vessel and sailed back to Spain and 
made bitter complaints against Columbus and his brother 
to Ferdinand and Isabella. 

A strong native chief now formed a plot to destroy all 
the white men but it was discovered and the chief cap- 
tured. In spite of his capture, an Indian war broke out 
and Columbus spent a year in subduing the savages^ and 
in bringing the troublesome and disorderly Spaniards 
under control. In the meantime four vessels had arrived 
with much-needed supplies, but they also had on board 


an agent sent out by the king and queen to examine into 
the condition of the colony and its government. This 
man, Aguado, was shrewdly won over by the enemies of 
Columbus, so that Columbus thought it best to go back 
to Spain with him and defend his own conduct at court. 

A short time before starting, rich gold mines were 
discovered near the south coast and with this good news 
Columbus set sail. His brother, Bartholomew, was left in 
command and the next summer, 1496, transferred the 
headquarters of the colony to the south coast, where he 
founded the city of San Domingo. 

The two ships were overloaded with two hundred 
passengers and on the return trip got out of food and 
almost starved, the men even threatening to eat their 
Indian captives. Yet Columbus was able to hinder this 
and the starved company at length reached Cadiz. 

Columbus was received kindly at the court, and, after 
much delay and vexation caused by his enemies, in the 
spring of 1498 he had six ships ready for his third 
voyage. Sailing farther south on this cruise so as to 
reach the supposed Spice Islands and gold regions, he came 
into the region of cairns just north of the equator. 
Irving says : " The wind suddenly fell and a dead sultry 
calm commenced, which lasted for eight days. The air 
was like a furnace ; the tar melted, the seams of the ship 
yawned; the salt meat became putrid; the wheat was 


parched as if with fire ; the hoops shrank from the 
wine and water casks, some of which leaked and 
others burst, while the heat in the holds of the 
vessels was so suffocating that no one could remain 
below a sufficient time to prevent the damage that 
was taking place. The mariners lost all strength and 
spirit and sank under the oppressive heat. It seemed 
as if the old fable of the torrid zone was about to 
be realized ; and that they were approaching a fiery 
region, where it would be impossible to exist." (Quoted 
by Fiske.) 

But, while there was no breath of wind, the strong 
equatorial current carried the ships steadily toward the 
northwest, so that after eight days they arrived again 
in the region of westward trades, and with ten days of 
good sailing came in sight of an island with three 
mountain peaks, which Columbus called Trinidad. In 
passing around the southern side of this island the 
ships were caught in a mighty current of fresh water 
which swept through the channel. This passage he 
called the Serpent's Mouth, as it almost swallowed up 
his ships, and led him to guess that it must be the 
mouth of some great river draining an unheard-of con- 
tinent to the south. Sailing westward along the coast, 
he made a collection of fine pearls. Here, again, ex- 
hausted with his anxieties and exertions, he became 


feverish, his eyes failed, and he was forced to turn 
northward to San Domingo. 

His brother, Bartholomew, had been in charge of the 
colony during his ^absence and had found no end of 
trouble with the rebellious Spaniards and with the 
Indians who were furious against the white man. A 
Spanish scoundrel named Roldan had raised a rebellion 
against Bartholomew and had joined his men with the 
Indians in the western part of the island. Columbus 
and his brother managed to put down these rebels, 
hanged some of the worst leaders, and threw others into 
prison. Reports of these troubles reached Spain from 
time to time, and the powerful enemies of Columbus at 
the court filled the ears of the Spanish rulers with 
complaints and false charges of his cruelty and wrong- 
doing against the Spaniards and Indians. 

At length, by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, a 
Spanish knight, Bobadilla, was sent out with full au- 
thority to inquire into the condition of the colony, 
arrest and punish wrong-doers, and, if necessary, to 
take the government into his own hands. 

When Bobadilla arrived at San Domingo, instead of 
making careful inquiries into the conduct of Columbus 
and his brother, he at once liberated the rebels from 
prison, joined with the enemies of Columbus, and with- 
out notice or trial threw him and his brothers into 


prison and loaded them with chains. He then collected 
from the rebels all manner of complaints against Colum- 
bus and forwarded them, with him as a prisoner, to 
Spain. The sea-captain, on whose vessel Columbus was 
put, was shocked to see the stately form of the old 
man in irons and offered to release him, but Columbus 
replied that he would wear the fetters till removed by 
the order of his sovereigns, as full proof of the foul 
treatment he had received. His son, Ferdinand, wrote 
that he had afterward often seen these fetters hanging 
in his father's room. A letter written on shipboard by 
Columbus to one of the ladies at the court, and de- 
scribing the manner in which he had been treated, 
came into the hands of the queen and she was so 
much shocked that she sent a swift messenger to Cadiz, 
ordering that he and his brothers be released, that 
Columbus be invited at once to the court, after receiving 
a purse of money for his expenses. 

When Columbus arrived at the palace of the Alham- 
bra in Granada, he was received with tears by the 
queen and was so much overcome that, as Fiske says, 
"this much-enduring old man, whose proud and mas- 
terful spirit had so long been proof against all wrongs 
and insults, broke down. He threw himself at the feet 
of the sovereigns in an agony of tears and sobs." He 
was promised payment for all his losses. But it was 


difficult for Isabella to fulfil her promises to him. 
The Spaniards hated him as a foreigner, and it was 
extremely difficult, even for a native Spaniard, to rule 
successfully his cruel and plotting countrymen. Espe- 
cially was this true upon far-away islands, where they 
had but little fear of the government of Spain, and 
where they were all the while, by mean and bloody 
deeds, stirring up the Indians to war. Columbus was, 
therefore, fed on promises, while others were allowed to 
rule and enrich themselves in the lands which he had 

In 1502, with four small and leaky vessels, he was 
allowed to make a fourth voyage of exploration, hoping 
at last to find some rich empire that would reward him 
for all his labors and pay Spain the heavy costs of his 
voyages and colonies. He finally reached the shores of 
Yucatan and sailed southward many hundreds of miles 
along the coasts of Central America, finding, indeed, 
races of men who dressed in cotton and built large 
stone or adobe houses. The natives wore also gold 
ornaments and this seemed to point to rich gold-producing 
countries to the west. Passing southward in hopes of 
finding a passage to China, which he thought was close 
at hand, he began to suffer great hardships. His ships 
became worm-eaten, the food gave out, many of his 
men were killed in Indian troubles, and he was com- 


pelled to sail back to San Domingo. On the south 
coast of Cuba his leaky vessels were met by a storm 
and were driven at last upon the coast of Jamaica, 
where they were too full of water to sail farther. 
They were hauled up on the beach and two men were 
sent in a canoe across to San Domingo to ask help. 
But the governor, Ovando, made no effort at first to 
rescue them and Columbus and his party spent a mis 
erable year upon this wild coast. 

A mutiny among his men led to a pitched battle, in 
which Bartholomew was victor and killed or captured 
the rebels. Finally Ovando sent two vessels to bring 
back the suffering company of Columbus and pretended 
to treat him and his brothers with courtesy. But Co- 
lumbus was glad to get away from so treacherous a 
friend and sailed for Spain, where he arrived a few 
days before the death of Isabella. After her death he 
had no strong friend at court and could do little to 
secure his rights. The last year and a half of his life 
was spent in sickness and poverty, and, worn out with 
disappointment and sorrow, he died May 20, 1506. 

But Columbus had accomplished more than even he 
had ever dreamed. He did not know that he had 
touched upon the shores of two vast continents, far 
more important to Europe than India and China. The 
rich empires of Mexico and Peru were close at hand, 


which would soon put vast quantities of gold into the 
hands of the conquering Spaniards. If he could have 
opened his eyes to the real importance of his dis- 
coveries, if he could have seen the great map of North 
and South America, as we know it, unrolled, he would 
have been filled with wonder. 

Columbus, in his explorations and settlements in the 
West Indies, bad two very difficult classes of people to 
deal with, the Spaniards and the Indians. 

In exploring the islands, the Spaniards had to support 
themselves from the country and they often plundered 
and maltreated the Indians. The Indians in turn would 
plot the destruction of the white men, and bloody war 

In order to establish some sort of peace and understand- 
ing between the Indians and the whites, Columbus levied 
a small tribute, or tax, upon all the Indians, which 
would bring a sufficient sum to meet the needs of the 
Spaniards. Those who had not paid this tribute were 
required to work for their Spanish masters. This soon 
led to a form of slavery, as whole villages of Indians 
were required to till the soil for a single Spaniard who 
ruled the district as if it were his plantation. This system 
grew worse and worse and the Spanish masters practised 
the most inhuman cruelties upon their Indian subjects or 
slaves. Columbus did not intend to establish a system 


of slavery ; but soon after he left Hispaniola the system 
he had started developed into the most cruel form of 
bondage. Many of the Indians were required to labor in 
the mines of San Domingo and were worked so hard and 
treated so cruelly tha.t they died in great numbers. 

The Indians of the Caribbees were warlike cannibals, 
who tortured and roasted the victims whom they cap- 
tured along the coast of Hispaniola. Columbus, in order 
to stop their raids, and at the same time to win the 
favor of the Indians in San Domingo, sent expeditions 
against the Caribbee Indians, captured many of them and 
sent them to Europe as slaves, hoping thus to make 
Christians out of them, who might then come back to 
civilize their people. 

Columbus was especially unfortunate in dealing with 
the Spaniards who accompanied him on his voyages. 
They were treacherous and mutinous and were con- 
stantly arousing the bitter hatred of the Indians by their 
cruelty and selfish love of gold. He was hated by the 
Spaniards as a foreigner and they placed so many 
difficulties in his way that he was soon deprived of his 
government and his rights were never restored, though 
his son, Diego, did become governor of Hispaniola a few 
years after his father's death. 

Columbus' s original purpose was to find a way to the 
Indies by the route westward. While the Spaniards 


under the leadership of Columbus were exploring among 
the islands, the Portuguese had passed round the Cape of. 
Good Hope and even pushed across the Indian Ocean to 
India. In 1497 Vasco da Gama sailed around southern 
Africa, crossed the Indian Ocean to India, and brought 
home a rich cargo of spices, silks, ivory, robes, and pre- 
cious stones. He had seen great cities and opened up for 
Portugal the splendid commerce of the East. Columbus 
had not discovered any cities or powerful kingdoms and 
his voyages and discoveries had "been very expensive, 
without bringing in much return. It seemed as if the 
Portuguese under Da Gama and others had really won the 
rich prize, while Columbus had found only a few islands 
inhabited by savages. By a decree of the Pope at Rome, 
all the newly discovered lands along the coast of Africa 
and eastward to India were to belong to Portugal, while 
those discovered to the west, by Columbus and others, 
were to be the possession of Spain. This line of division 
was drawn at first on a meridian three hundred leagues 
west of the Cape Verde and Canary Islands. 

Columbus fondly hoped that, by pushing a little farther 
west among the islands, he would come to those rich 
countries of India (the Spice Islands, Japan, and China) 
which the Portuguese had already reached by sailing 
round Africa and across the Indian Ocean. He never 
even dreamed that the Spaniards, soon after his death, 


would discover and conquer rich kingdoms in Mexico and 
Peru, more than ten thousand miles from the Indies; so 
ignorant was he of the real geography of the world and 
of that vast ocean which lay westward from his newly 
discovered islands, and from the continents which he had 
touched without knowing what they were. 



FERDINAND MAGELLAN was born about 1480, in a 
rugged mountain district in Portugal. He belonged to 
a noble family and as a 
youth was early sent to the 
court of Portugal, where 
he was brought up in the 
royal household. As a boy 
he must have seen the 
ships coming into Lisbon 
from exploring voyages. 
When about twenty-five 
years old he sailed with 
Almeida, the Portuguese 
governor of India, around 
the coasts of Africa and 


spent the next seven years 

in service as a soldier and sailor in conquering the East 
Indies for Portugal. This was hard service, as he was 
engaged in many fierce fights with the Arabs and native 
tribes along the coasts of Asia and the East Indies. 

M 161 


In 1509 he was with the first European ships which 
sailed along the coast of Malacca under the command of 
Sequeira. While the Portuguese were loading the four 
vessels with ginger and pepper, the native Malays were 
allowed to throng upon the ships. The Portuguese had 
taken all the boats but one ashore to bring the cargo and 
many of the white men were scattered along the beach 
loading the boats. The shrewd Malay king planned to 
attack the Portuguese suddenly and murder them all. 
The signal was to be a puff of smoke from a tall square 
tower in the town which lay on the hillside. Sequeira, 
all unconscious of danger, was playing a game of chess 
on the deck of his flag-ship. While the Malays were 
standing about, apparently friendly, awaiting the signal, 
Magellan heard a rumor of the plot from a friendly 
native woman and taking the only remaining boat and 
riding to the flag-ship, shouted " treason " just in time to 
save Sequeira. The men on board the ships began to 
drive off the natives. At the signal from the tower, the 
Malays attacked and massacred most of the Portuguese at 
work along the shore, but Serrano, the captain, and a few 
of his men jumped into their boats and pushed off. They 
were swiftly surrounded by a great number of Malay 
boats and overwhelmed by numbers. Just at this moment 
Magellan rowed up with his men and attacked the Malay 
boats with such fury that they were driven off and 


Serrano and his men were saved. The Malays then 
swarmed about the ships in their boats but the European 
guns soon did such havoc among them that they 

From this time Serrano and Magellan became the 
closest friends. Serrano pushed still farther eastward 
and became settled in the Molucca or Spice Islands. 
Magellan returned to Lisbon in 1514 and letters from 
his friend Serrano awakened in him the desire to sail 
to those islands himself. He had become very much 
interested in the study of geography and navigation, 
and, by long experience and study, was an expert sea- 
man and pilot. In the meantime, Amerigo Vespucius 
and his associates had sailed along the coast of South 
America to 20 below the equator, and it was believed 
that there was a passage farther south to the seas be- 
yond and thus to the Indies. Magellan formed the 
daring plan of sailing through this strait and beyond 
and then of continuing his course around the world. In 
this way he would go to meet his friend, Serrano, in 
the Moluccas, from the East. But Magellan had no 
notion of the vast breadth of the ocean west of South 
America. In fact, he knew very little about South 
America itself. About this time he spent a year 
with the Portuguese, fighting against the Moors in 
Morocco, and received a wound in the knee which lamed 


him for life. He was not in great favor with King 
Emanuel of Portugal and when he presented his plan 
before the king, it was not well, received. 

Magellan therefore decided to offer his services to 
the king of Spain in order to carry out his great idea 
of circumnavigating the earth. In 1517 he settled at 
Seville, in Spain, and soon married the daughter of his 
friend and host, Barbosa, a Portuguese in Spanish ser- 
vice. At the Spanish court Magellan was well received 
by Charles V, the young king, the grandson of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella. It was agreed that a fleet of ships 
should be fitted out for this undertaking, but so slow 
was +he work that it was more than a year before all 
the necessarj preparations had been made. 

The king of Portugal, on hearing that Magellan was 
fitting out such an expedition, put many obstacles in 
his way. Ruffians were hired to waylay him in the 
streets, orders were sent to the East Indies commanding 
the Portuguese officer in charge to arrest Magellan should 
he come into those regions, and, worse still, the crews 
which were to sail with Magellan were corrupted and 
three out of four of his captains afterward proved 
traitors. The Spaniards at court were naturally jealous 
of a foreigner who was sent upon so important an expedi- 
tion, and even the common people were stirred up against 
him. But Magellan had the firm support of King Charles, 


and continued his preparations. He was to have impor- 
tant rights and privileges in the newly discovered lands, 
besides the honor, if successful, of being the first to sail 
round the world. 

The five ships, Trinidad, San Antonio, Conception, 
Victoria, and Santiago, were ready in September, 1519, 
and were manned by 280 sailors and adventurers, 37 of 
whom were Portuguese who had followed Magellan. 
The son of his old friend, Serrano, was captain of the 
Santiago, and the only one of the four captains faithful 
to Magellan. On the 20th of September the little 
fleet escaped from the mouth of the river and set sail. 
The boats were old and somewhat weather-beaten, the 
largest 120 tons burden, the smallest 75 tons; not a 
very promising outfit for so long a voyage in un- 
known seas. A few days later a small vessel overtook 
the flag-ship, with an anxious message from Magellan's 
father-in-law, Barbosa, that the captains had sworn to 
their friends to kill Magellan if they got into trouble 
with him. Magellan sent back the reply to his friends to 
be of good cheer, as he would carry out his plan in 
spite of the traitors. Pigafetta, a passenger on board 
the fleet, kept a journal of this famous voyage, from 
which our knowledge is obtained. 

After stopping at the Canaries for water and wood, 
the squadron sailed to the southwest and was be- 


calmed for three weeks. On account of bad weather 
and scarcity of food and water, mutiny began to show 
itself. Carthagena, the captain of the San Antonio, the 
largest ship, came on board the flag-ship and openly 
accused Magellan. Magellan seized him with his own 
hands and put him in irons, thus checking the mutiny 
for the time. But the captains waited only for a better 

The five ships arrived at Rio Janeiro Bay, Decem- 
ber 13, after a trip of nearly three months. Boats were 
quickly lowered and the men were soon on land. The 
natives treated the Spaniards very kindly, building a long 
hut for them to live in and bringing them some pigs. 
These the Spaniards roasted and greatly enjoyed after 
months of diet on salt meat and hardtack. They also 
tasted the pineapple for the first time and found the 
sweet potato, which was described as having the form 
of the turnip and a taste resembling the chestnut. The 
natives had no metal tools. Their large canoes, capable 
of holding thirty or forty men, were dug out of the trunks 
of trees with knives of stone. 

Magellan was in search of a passage to the western 
sea and coming to the mouth of the La Plata in Janu- 
ary, he spent three weeks examining the broad bay and 
river. Finding only a river's mouth, he sailed south 
along the coast of Patagonia. He and his companions 


were here overtaken by violent storms during February 
and March and barely saved their ships from wreck. 
The southern winter was setting in. " The cold be- 
came so intense that, finding a sheltered harbor, with 
plenty of fish, at Port St. Julian, they chose it for win- 
ter quarters, and anchored there the last day of March." l 
Magellan proposed now to spend five months of an 
antarctic winter in this bay, and, when spring opened 
again, to proceed southward till a strait was reached or 
the end of this unexplored continent. 
. It seemed that dangers and hardships had no power 
to weaken the determination of this man, yet he also 
showed himself kindly disposed, promised his men great 
rewards, and appealed to their pride as Spaniards not 
to give up the expedition. But the mutinous captains 
thought they had suffered enough of storm and hardship. 
Food was scarce and the ships were well battered. Per- 
haps Magellan was only trying to lead a Spanish squadron 
to destruction. To spend five months of an icy winter 
idly upon their ships was too much. 

The traitors, Mendoza and Quesada, had already per- 
suaded the crews of their ships to join in the mutiny. On 
Sunday night of Easter day, Quesada, with Carthagena and 
thirty men, boarded the third ship, San Antonio, seized 
the captain, a cousin of Magellan, and put him in irons. 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


They took possession of the ship, disarmed the loyal men, 
and persuaded the others to join the mutineers, giving out 
extra portions of bread and wine. The rebels were now 
in full command of three of the large ships and felt safe 
in defying Magellan. On Monday morning he knew 
nothing of what had happened till he despatched a boat 
to one of the ships, which was sent back to him with 
the insolent reply that he no longer commanded that ship. 
By sending the boat round to all the fleet, Magellan found 
that only the smallest ship, the Santiago, with Serrano, 
was faithful. Quesada requested a conference with Ma- 
gellan, who consented by asking the rebellious captains 
on board the flag-ship. This invitation they refused. 

Fiske says of Magellan at this juncture : " Little did 
they realize with what a man they were dealing. Magel- 
lan knew how to make them come to him. He had reason 
to believe that the crew of the Victoria was less disloyal 
than the others, and selected that ship for his first coup de 
main. While he kept a boat in readiness with a score of 
trusty men, armed to the teeth, and led by his wife's 
brother, Barbosa, he sent another boat ahead to the Victo- 
ria with his alguazil or constable, Espinoza, and five other 
men. Luis de Mendoza, captain of the Victoria, suffered 
this small party to come on board. Espinoza then served 
on Mendoza a formal summons to come to the flag-ship, and 
upon his refusal, quick as lightning sprang upon him and 


plunged a dagger into his throat. As the corpse of the 
rebellious captain dropped upon the deck, Barbosa's party 
rushed over the ship's side with drawn cutlasses, the 
dazed crew at once surrendered, and Barbosa took com- 

Magellan now had command of three ships and in the 
evening his men boarded the San Antonio on two sides 
and captured her, and soon after the other ship surren- 
dered. Thus in less than a day MageWan brought this 
dangerous mutiny to a close and established his authority 
more firmly than before. Quesada was beheaded and 
Carthagena and a guilty priest were set on shore the fol- 
lowing spring to shift for themselves. 

The smallest ship, while out exploring, was wrecked 
during the winter and after extreme hardships the crew 
was rescued. While at Port St. Julian, the voyagers saw 
much of the native Patagonians, who were almost giants in 
stature. They were friendly till some of their men were 
invited on board the fleet and kept as prisoners. During 
the winter the ships had been repaired and all preparation 
made for the voyage southward with the earliest spring. 

On the 24th of August the explorers set sail again but 
the weather was very stormy and they were nearly two 
months sailing along a rocky coast. 

As the squadron moved southward it was overtaken by 
a fierce storm, which for several days threatened either to 


overwhelm the ships or to dash them against the rocky 
shore. One of the vessels sprang a leak and another 
barely escaped the rocks. At last they rode safely at 
anchor in a small bay where the sailors demanded the 
return of the expedition to Spain. They had suffered 
danger enough, they said. But Magellan stoutly refused, 
and, after refitting "the ships and repairing the damage of 
the storm, he again set sail southward, seeking a passage 
to the western ocean. 

On the morning of October 21, 1520, Magellan was 
celebrating the day sacred to the eleven thousand virgins, 
when, as the ceremony ended, one of the sailors espied a 
cape or headland, beyond which nothing could be seen, 
and, as they rounded the point, " Magellan's heart leaped 
within him to perceive that there was a broad inlet run- 
ning in a southwesterly direction, and that while the land 
was plainly visible on its southern side, its limit inland 
could not be seen. Naming the point the Cape of the 
Virgins, he gave orders that the fleet should boldly enter 
the inlet and endeavor to find out whither it led." * 

The shores were rugged and steep, with occasional for- 
ests. The main channel was divided into many inlets and 
bays and in places was almost closed up by rocky islands. 
The jutting reefs and breakers were to be avoided and 
it was necessary to survey the channel closely as they 
i Towle's " Life of Magellan." 


advanced. Pigafetta, as quoted by Fiske, says : " The 
straight now cauled the straight of Magellanus, beinge in 
sum place. C. x. leaques in length : and in breadth sum- 
where very large and in other places lyttle more than 
halfe a leaque in bredth. On both the sydes of this 
strayght are great and hygh mountaynes couered with 
snowe, beyonde the whiche is the enteraunce into the sea 
of Sur. . . . Here one of the shyppes stole away priuile 
and returned into Spayne." 

More than five weeks were spent in working their way 
through these winding channels. At length, in a shel- 
tered bay, the fleet cast anchor. Two ships were sent 
ahead to explore the channel while the others waited. 
While attempting to return, the two vessels were over- 
taken by a furious storm and driven forward, and, after 
passing through several straits and bays, they reached a 
channel from which they could see the boundless ocean 

At last Magellan "was relieved by seeing them speeding 
rapidly toward the bay, with flags and streamers flying 
gayly at their mastheads. They were soon alongside 
the flag-ship, and Mesquito, hastening on board, eagerly 
advanced to Magellan and fell at his feet. ' Praise be to 
God, Admiral/ cried he, when he could recover his breath 
so as to speak, ' we have found the outlet.' Magellan, with 
flushed face, his whole body trembling with excitementj 


raised the faithful captain from the deck, and clasping him 
about the neck, burst into tears of joy. ' Is it indeed 
true ? ' he said, with faltering voice. ' And have you seen 
the other ocean, the western ocean beyond ? ' * We have 
indeed seen it with these very eyes/ replied Mesquito. 
6 We came near perishing in the storm, but we kept on 
and have succeeded/ Having embraced the other officers, 
Magellan said, 'My Comrades, we have at last triumphed. 
Our perils have been great, our trials and hardships sore 
and many. But the reward of all has come. The passage 
that leads from the Atlantic to the further Ocean, and 
opens the" nearest way from Spain to the rich Molucca 
islands is found. It is just before us. We shall pass 
through it into the ocean beyond, if God still pro- 
tect us. We shall make other discoveries, find wealth 
and fame for ourselves and new lands for our king. 
Let the captains return to their ships, and assemble 
their crews to tell the good tidings ; let your cannon 
speak to awake echoes among the crags ; float the 
royal flag from your mastheads, array the decks with 
streamers and ribbons, let meat and drink be set forth 
in plenty, and render thanks to God for leading us to this 
great discovery.' " l 

The four ships were anchored alonprs'de and the day 
was given up to feasting and celebiation. When the 

1 Towle's " Life of Magellan/' 


feast was done, altars were erected on the deck and the 
priests chanted the song of triumph. 

The fleet now set sail and advanced through the chan- 
nel in a series of bays and narrow straits. Following 
the course of the first two ships they came at last to a 
narrow strait and a cape that jutted into it, from which 
they could dimly see the distant ocean. This place 
Magellan named Cape Forward. 

But at this point the channel divides into two parts, 
both extending far away, and he was at a loss to know 
which to follow. Before sending forward the ships to 
explore these channels, he called together his principal 
men and asked their opinions about his future course. 
Should they return now to Spain and make known this 
discovery or proceed on the long voyage across the new 
ocean to the Moluccas ? In spite of hardship, riches and 
honor could be had by sailing on to the Moluccas. Some 
were eager to go on but the chief pilot, Gomez, objected 
and urged Magellan to return to Spain for provisions and 
better ships. Magellan at once replied, "We will go on 
even if we have to eat the leather from the ship's yards." 

The Conception and the San Antonio were now sent 
out to explore the two channels. After waiting impa- 
tiently for several days, Magellan set out along the 
southern channel. Advancing, they came to a wide cur- 
rent in which many small fishes were found. Magellan 


named it the River of Sardines. Suddenly the Concep- 
tion appeared, to the great delight of Magellan, but the 
other ship, the San Antonio, was not seen again by him. 
The pilot, Gomez, had persuaded the crew to seize the 
captain, Mesquito, and then they deserted Magellan and 
started back through the strait and across the Atlantic 
to Spain, and after six months reported that Magellan 
and all the other ships were lost. 

Magellan sent out men in two long boats to explore the 
River of Sardines to its mouth. After three days they 
returned and said that it flowed into the ocean, the 
shores of which they had reached. The three ships pro- 
ceeded to the outlet of the river and anchored in a good 
harbor near a hilly cape at the entrance to the ocean, 
which Magellan called Cape Desire, because he had long 
desired to see it. As he looked upon the rocky cliffs 
reaching northward, and the boundless ocean to the west, 
his heart was filled with thanks for the great discovery. 

At this place they spent several days, exploring the 
neighboring hills, mountains, and forests. The crews 
went on shore and refreshed themselves among the 
forests and in visits with the native Indians of large 
size whom they found here. The Indians brought pro- 
visions to the ships and were greatly delighted with the 
beads, buttons, and little bells with which Magellan 
rewarded them. The ships were now repaired, the crews 


rested, and a fresh supply of water, wood, and provisions 
was taken on board. They were making ready for the 
unknown voyage northward to the equator and westward 
to India. They were trying to reach the Moluccas by 
a route over which no traveller had ever gone before. 

As the ships ploughed the waters westward the sailors 
were surprised at the calm of the ocean. The weather 
was warm and sunny and the sea steadily quiet. Magel- 
lan studied his charts and attempted to reckon the dis- 
tance to the Indies. What if he should reach India and 
sail homeward by way of the Cape of Good Hope ! No 
navigator had ever dared^ such a thing ! After they had 
sailed many days through a quiet sea, Magellan called 
his captains together and said that the great ocean 
through which they were now the first to sail should be 
called the Pacific, because of its peaceful waters. The 
first part of this long journey was like a pleasure trip, 
but in passing over so vast an untravelled waste it was 
hard to tell what troubles might lie before them. As the 
voyagers approached nearer the equator they turned more 
to the west. The region of calms was at length reached 
arid for days together the ships lay idly floating on the 
water. The winds sprang up again and they sped 
westward. But the calms returned, till the crews grew 
impatient. Their supply of food and water was running 
short. Passing the Tropic of Capricorn, they came upon 


very hot weather. The rosin oozed from the pine boards 
on deck. An island hove in sight but it was barren 
and lifeless. Another appeared but brought no relief. 
The fleet had already sailed nearly twice as far as Co- 
lumbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic from the 
Canaries to Guanahani, and there were still five thousand 
miles of ocean before the men would again see land. Their 
sufferings may be best understood from the old English 
uarrative of Eden, quoted by Fiske : 

" And hauynge in this tyme consumed all theyr bysket 
and other vyttayles, they fell into such necessitie that 
they were inforced to eate the pouder that remayned 
thereof beinge now full of woormes. . . . Theyre freshe 
water was also putrifyed and become yelow. They dyd 
eate skynnes and pieces of lether which were foulded 
abowt certeyne great ropes of the shyps. (Thus did the 
captain-general's words come true.) But these skynnes 
being made verye harde by reason of the soonne, rayne, 
and wynde, they hunge them by a corde in the sea for 
the space of foure or fiue dayse to mollifie them, and 
sodde them, and eate them. By reason of this farnen 
and vnclene feedynge, summe of theyr gummes grewe 
so ouer theyr teethe (a symptom of scurvy), that they 
dyed miserably for hunger. And by this occasion dyed, 
xix. men, and . . . besyde these that dyed, xxv. or. xxx. 
were so sicke that they were not able to doo any seruice 


with theyr handes or arms for feeblenesse : So that was 
in maner none without sum disease. In three monethes 
and. XK. dayes, they sayled foure thousande leagues in 
one goulfe by the sayde sea cauled Pacificum (that is) 
peaceable, whiche may well bee so cauled forasmuch as 
in all this tyme hauying no syght of any lande, they had 
no misfortune of wynde or any other tempest. ... So 
that in fine, if god of his mercy had not gyuen them 
good wether, it was necessary that in this soo greate a 
sea they shuld all haue dyed for hunger. Whiche neuer- 
theless they escaped soo hardely, that it may bee doubted 
whether euer the like viage may be attempted with so 
goode successe." 

At last the end of this terrible suffering was reached. 
Islands, green and wooded, appeared in the edge of 
the sky. As the ships approached, boat loads of natives 
came out to meet them, bringing clusters of bananas, 
cocoanuts, and other fruits. These the sailors were soon 
eagerly devouring. Later, on account of the disposi- 
tion of the people to steal everything they could lay 
their hands upon, Magellan called these the Ladrones, 
or islands of robbers. 

Ten days later, on the 16th of March, the voyagers came 
to the islands that are now called the Philippines. They 
first landed on an uninhabited island, where there was 
good water. Two large tents were put up and the sick 


men carefully tended. The friendly natives from the 
neighboring islands came in long boats bringing fish 
and oranges. These they laicj at the feet of Magellan. 
He brought out from the tents and distributed among 
them little bells, red caps, looking-glasses, and brass 
and silver ornaments. These things delighted the 
natives and they brought figs and cocoanuts and other 
food with which he stocked his vessels. At last the 
chief of the island, with his leading men, visited Ma- 
gellan. He was a pleasant-mannered old man and 
brought two loads of oranges and palm wine, and also 
some chickens. Magellan spent a week with these 
people and through them learned much about the sur- 
rounding islands. The crews of the vessels were also 
greatly refreshed with good food and life upon land. 

Later he visited the island of Sebu and was received 
in friendly spirit by the Malay chief, who not only con- 
cluded a treaty of peace with the Spaniards, promising 
to trade only with them, but accepted Christianity. A 
great bonfire was made of their idols and the tribe be- 
came Christians; a cross was set up and the people of 
the island were baptized. 

Magellan learned by conversing with these tribes 
that they were visited by Asiatic traders and that the 
Molucca Islands lay to the south. He knew also by 
his own reckoning that he had already passed the longi- 


tude of the Moluccas. In short, he had at last com- 
pleted the journey over the unknown parts of the ocean 
and could now sail through the East Indies and the 
Indian Ocean back to Spain. 

Just as he was prepared to leave Sebu and continue 
his voyage south and west, he learned that the chief 
with whom he had concluded a treaty of friendship and 
commerce and who had become a Christian, needed his 
aid in subduing the king of a neighboring island. Ma- 
gellan was not a man to desert his new friend and 
besides he thought it a part of his work to subdue this 
heathen king and make him accept Christianity. With 
three boats and sixty men Magellan crossed over to 
the neighboring island. Wading ashore with forty-nine 
men, he attacked the savages, who swarmed about the 
Spaniards in great numbers. After a furious battle the 
Spaniards were compelled to retreat to their boats. 
Magellan was among the last to retreat, shielding and 
protecting his men. His helmet was knocked off and 
his right arm disabled by a spear. :v The Indians threw 
themselves upon him with iron-pointed bamboo spears 
and scimitars and every weapon they had, and ran him 
through, our mirror, our light, our comfortor, until 
they killed him." (Pigafetta, quoted by Fiske.) A 
tew of his men fell bravely fighting by his side ; the rest 
reached the boats and returned to the ships. 


The king of Sebu, finding that Magellan and his 
men were not so powerful as he had supposed, decided 
that he had made a mistake in accepting the God of the 
Christians. He therefore invited thirty of the leading 
Spaniards, including the brave captains, Barbosa and 
Serrano, to a feast, and then massacred all of them. 
The cross was chopped down and the heathen religion 

The crews of the ships were now in a desperate 
situation. They left the islands in haste. Stopping 
at a favorable harbor they consulted upon their future 
plans. Only 115 men remained of the 280 who started. 
The Conception was leaky and unseaworthy and was 
now burned to the water's edge; the crews were divided 
between the other two ships. Having chosen new cap- 
tains, they visited the island of Borneo, where they were 
kindly received and spent several days. The men at 
last reached the Moluccas, which Magellan had long 
desired to see. They were well treated by the natives, 
and, after trading for a while, they prepared to sail 
homeward. It was found, however, that the Trinidad 
was leaking badly. After consulting, the voyagers de- 
cided that the Victoria should start upon the voyage 
homeward at once, so as to take advantage of the eaM 
monsoon, while the Trinidad, after being thoroughly 
repaired, should sail back across the Pacific to tlu 


Spanish settlements at Panama. Fifty-four men re- 
mained on board the Trinidad, forty-seven on the Vic- 
toria. Espinosa had command of the Trinidad and 
Elcano of the Victoria. 

In the spring of 1522 the Trinidad sailed east upon 
the Pacific, but encountered unfavorable winds and 
was finally driven back to the Moluccas. The crew had 
suffered much from scurvy and privation. Only nineteen 
men were left and these were seized by the Portuguese 
and treated with great cruelty. Four years afterwards 
four only of these men, including the captain, Espinosa, 
were sent back to Spain. 

The Victoria sailed many miles south of Ceylon, mak- 
ing a straight course for the Cape of Good Hope, which 
she reached " on the 16th of May, with starvation and 
scurvy already thinning their ranks, with foretop- 
mast gone by the board and foreyard badly sprung." 
It had been very stormy before reaching the cape and 
the men begged their commander to allow them to stop 
at Mozambique, a Portuguese settlement, but he knew 
that they would be taken captive by the Portuguese 
who were on the lookout for Magellan's ships. They 
pushed on. The good ship became leaky and the men 
had to work constantly at the pumps. In the two 
months of the voyage along the western shore of Africa 
to the Cape Yerdes twenty-one men died. The Cape 


Verde Islands were also possessions of the Portuguese. 
Being in sore need, the men were compelled to stop at 
these islands; they deceived the Portuguese by saying 
they came from America and were driven out of their 
course by a storm. The sick were taken on shore 
and cared for and a boat load of rice was sent to 
the ship. But the secret got out and thirteen men 
in one of the boats were seized by the Portuguese, 
and the ships in the harbor were armed for the 
purpose of capturing the Victoria. The commander 
of the Victoria, seeing this, stretched all his sail and 
made his escape, though followed some distance by the 

It took the Victoria eight weeks longer to make the 
coast of Spain. On the 6th of September she came in 
sight of land, with nineteen men on board, all that 
were left of the 280 who had sailed with Magellan 
nearly three years before. They sailed into the mouth of 
the Guadalquivir, greatly rejoiced. Entering the harbor 
of St. Lucas, they were greeted by the vessels there. 
When the Spaniards learned that this little vessel, the 
Victoria, of eighty-five tons, had sailed round the world, 
they were filled with astonishment. The ship sailed up 
the river to Seville, where her arrival filled the old city 
with excitement. A public reception was given to the 
brave men who had survived so many dangers. King 


Charles V entertained the officers at his palace and 
bestowed pensions upon them. 

The little son of Magellan had died the year before 
and his wife also, soon after hearing of the death of her 
husband and brother in the Philippines, had died, so 
there was no one left to receive the reward of Magellan's 
expedition. Fiske says : 

" The voyage thus ended was doubtless the greatest feat 
of navigation that has ever been performed, and nothing 
can be imagined that would surpass it except a journey to 
some other planet. It has not the unique historic position 
of the first voyage of Columbus, which brought together 
two streams of human life that had been disjoined since 
the Glacial Period. But as an achievement in ocean navi- 
gation, that voyage of Columbus sinks into insignificance 
by the side of it, and when the earth was a second time 
encompassed by the greatest English sailor of his age, the 
advance in knowledge, as well as the different route chosen, 
had much reduced the difficulty of the performance. When 
we consider the frailness of the ships, the immeasurable 
extent of the unknown, the mutinies that were prevented 
or quelled, and the hardships that were endured, we can 
have no hesitation in speaking of Magellan as the prince 
of navigators. Nor can we ever fail to admire the sim- 
plicity and purity of that devoted life in which there is 
nothing that seeks to be hidden or explained away." 


Magellan had formerly spent several years in the East 
Indies, so that in making his way across the Pacific to the 
Philippines he had really completed the circumnavigation 
of the world and had settled forever the great question as 
to the size and shape of the earth. 

The next great navigator to complete the journey round 
the world was Sir Francis Drake, fifty years later. Drake 
met with difficulties and hardships very similar in some 
respects to those of Magellan. 

One result of Magellan's voyage was to bring the 
Philippine Islands under the control of Spain. Portugal 
tried to claim them as a part of the East Indies but they 
were taken and held by the Spaniards till 1898, when, 
after the victory of Admiral Dewey in Manila Bay, they 
became a possession of the United States. 



STILL believing that the new country discovered by 
Columbus was near Cipango and Cathay, the Spaniards 
dreamed of finding great cities and untold wealth. Many 
searched for these marvels and at last one man found 
something more wonderful, perhaps, than these dreams. 

In the year 1504 a young man named Hernando 
Cortes, a native of Spain, came to the Indies in search of 
adventure. He fought bravely under Velasquez in the 
conquest of Cuba in 1511. Later he was made chief 
judge of the newly founded town of Santiago. In the 
year 1518, hearing of the wonderful cities seen by Cor- 
dova on the peninsula of Yucatan, he persuaded Velasquez 
to give him command of a fleet fitted up for further ex- 
ploration and conquest. These cities of which he had 
heard had strange-looking towers or pyramids, and the 
people were dressed in garments of cotton and wore gold 
ornaments, cloaks of feathers, and plumes. Then a 
nephew of Velasquez, sailing along the coast, met a native 
who told him wonderful stories of his chief, Montezuma, 

1 Authorities : Fiske and Prescott. 



who lived far up in the country and ruled over many 
cities and had no end of gold. This doubtless was the 
Great Khan and wealth and fame would belong to the 
brave men who should 
conquer him. 

Before Cortes was 
well started upon his 
adventures, Velasquez 
began to fear that he 
would prove too inde- 
pendent in case he 
found a treasure and 
sent two messages to 
call him back. Cortes 
paid no attention to 
the messengers but 
calmly went on his 
way. Early in March, 
1519, he landed at 

Tabasco on the coast of Yucatan. Finding the natives 
unfriendly, he attacked and defeated them. Seizing a 
supply of provisions, he went to San Juan de Ulloa, 
where he sent gifts to Montezuma in the name of his 
sovereign, Charles V. 

"J Montezuma was the chief of the Aztecs, who had built 
their chief city, or pueblo, in a well-protected place in the 



marshes by Lake Tezcuco. This pueblo was begun in the 
year 1325 and was called Tenochtitlan, \\hich means 
"place of the cactus rock." An old legend says that the 
Aztecs, fleeing from their foes, took refuge in these 
marshes. Here they found a stone upon which, some 
years before, one of their chiefs had sacrificed a captive 
chief. From a crevice in this stone, where a little earth 
was embedded, there grew a cactus, upon which sat an 
eagle holding in its beak a serpent. Their priest said this 
meant long and continued victory. Diving into the lake 
he talked with the god of waters, who told him that upon 
this spot the people were to build their town. The name 
under which it was best known later was taken from 
Mexitl, one of the names of their war god. 1 

This pueblo was surrounded by marshes, which, by 
means of dikes and causeways, the Aztecs gradually 
made into a large artificial lake. In this stronghold, 
the Aztecs grew stronger than any of the neighboring 
tribes. With some of these tribes they formed an alli- 
ance, while they subdued others arid demanded tribute 
from them. They had elected " a chief of men " who 
was war chief of the allied tribes. Montezuma, the 
present chief, was about fifty years old at the time the 
Spaniards reached Mexico and was a man of much in- 
fluence among his people. He had heard of the won- 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


derful towers with wings, moving lightly on the sea, 
and of the men with white faces and shining raiment, 
and thought they might be gods, perhaps the emissaries 
of the sun god, for whom they had waited so long. 
^The Aztecs worshipped a god of good and one of 
evil. To the evil one they offered human sacrifices to 
keep him good-natured. Between Quetzalcoatl, the good 
god, and Tezcatlipoca, the evil god, there was endless 
warfare. "The latter deity had once been the sun, but 
Quetzalcoatl had knocked him out of the sky with a 
big club, and jumping into his place had become the 
sun instead of him. Tezcatlipoca, after tumbling into 
the sea, rose again in the night sky as the Great Bear, 
ird so things went on for a while, until suddenly the 
Evil One changed himself into a tiger, and with a blow 
of his paw struck Quetzalcoatl from the sky." 1 Long 
was the struggle between these two gods, say the old 
legends, but finally Quetzalcoatl was outwitted and 
obliged to forsake the land. With a few young friends 
he had gone to the eastern shore. Here he bade them 
good-by, saying that he must go farther, but would return 
some day from the east, with men as fair skinned as 
himself, and would take possession of the country. His 
coming would, of course, do away with the sacrifice of 
human beings, as he believed that the perfume of flowers 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


and incense, offered to the gods, was enough without 
the shedding of blood. He also did not believe in war. 
These newcomers had appeared at almost the spot where 
Quetzalcoatl had disappeared and it was natural for the 
worshippers to think that their god had returned as he 
had promised. 

Cortes did not, at the time, understand all these 
things that aided him in his invasion of these new 
countries, but he saw that some of the pueblos paid 
their tribute to Montezuma unwillingly and this feeling 
he encouraged whenever possible. At one large town, he 
persuaded the chief to arrest Montezuma' s tax-gatherers, 
and then he quietly released them and sent them to their 
great chief with many kind words. 

* The messengers sent to Montezuma returned, in a 
short time, with rich gifts of gold and jewels and were 
accompanied by an embassy from Montezuma. The 
ambassadors entered Cortes' pavilion with great pomp, 
their attendants carrying censers which sent up clouds 
of incense. After saluting Cortes and his officers with 
much respect, touching the ground with their hands and 
then carrying them to their heads, they ordered their 
slaves to open the mats in which the presents were 
wrapped. There were shields, helmets, cuirasses em- 
bossed with plates and ornaments of pure gold; collars 
and bracelets of gold, sandals, fans, head ornaments of 


different colored feathers intermingled with gold and 
silver threads, and sprinkled with pearls and precious 
stones, imitations of birds and animals in wrought and 
cast gold and silver of finest workmanship ; curtains, 
coverlets, and robes of cotton, fine as silk, of many 
colors, and interwoven with feather work. There were 
more than thirty loads of cotton cloth and a Spanish 
helmet that the messengers had carried to the capital 
was returned filled with grains of gold. But the things 
that most pleased the Spaniards were two circular plates 
of gold and silver as large as carriage wheels. 1 

Cortes and his followers were delighted with these 
presents but much disappointed with the message which 
Montezuma sent. He refused to see them and hoped 
that they would soon return to their own land. 
^Cortes decided to found a colony. As the country 
around San Juan de Ulloa was low and marshy, he 
sent an exploring party to find a better location. A 
place was selected a little north of the present site of 
Yera Cruz. The foundations were laid and a govern- 
ment was formed. The new city was called Villa Rica 
de Vera Cruz "The Rich Town of the True Cross." 

Now Cortes resigned his commission from Velasquez 
and was at once elected governor of his colony. He 
was to have for his own one-fifth of the gold and 

1 Prescott's " Conquest of Mexico." 


silver which might thereafter be obtained from the 
natives by commerce or conquest. He sent his flag-ship 
to Spain with some of his friends to ask the favor of 
the king. S Fearing from the conduct of some of his 
followers that they might mutiny and return to Spain, 
he hit upon a bold plan to prevent such a calamity. 
One after another he had his ships scuttled and sunk, 
until but one was left. It was supposed, at first, that 
the storms had injured them, and the worms had so 
eaten into the sides and bottoms that they were un- 
seaworthy ; but some of the discontented ones in camp 
found out that the ships had been purposely sunken 
and complained to Cortes. He asked them for whom 
but cowards was retreat necessary. "As for me, I have 
chosen my part. I will remain here while there is one 
to bear me company. If there be any so craven as to 
shrink from sharing the dangers of our glorious enter- 
prise, let them go home, in God's name. There is still 
one vessel left. Let them take that and return to 
Cuba. They can tell there how they deserted their 
commander and their comrades, and patiently wait till 
we return loaded with the spoils of the Aztecs." l They 
all decided to stay with him. Then he suggested that, 
as this was the last ship, it might as well be destroyed ; 
all agreed and the vessel was destroyed at once. Then, 

1 Prescott's " Conquest of Mexico." 


with 450 men, many of them clad in mail, half a dozen 
small cannon, and fifteen horses, Cortes pushed on toward 
Tenochtitlan. Several hundred Indians, from the towns 
along the way, went with them. 

Their progress was a peaceful one. "It was not 
enough that the Spanish soldier of that day was a bull- 
dog for strength and courage, or that his armor was proof 
against stone and arrows, or that he wielded a Toledo 
blade that could cut through silken cushions, or that his 
arquebus and cannon were not only death-dealing weapons 
but objects of superstitious awe." * None of these things 
frightened the Indians so much as those unknown crea- 
tures, those frightful monsters, the horses. Before them, 
men, women, and children fled in horror.^/ Their fear of 
the supernatural overcame their bravery. The horses be- 
longed to the god, Quetzalcoatl, who had come back- to 
win his kingdom from the evil one. When Cortes threw 
down the idols from the temple and set free the victims 
held for sacrifice, the action seemed a natural one to the 
Indians, for Quetzalcoatl did not believe in human sacri- 
fice. Then the cross which Cortes set up in place of the 
idols happened to be one of their god's emblems. 

The Spaniards passed through many cities where they 
were treated with kindness. In one large city fifty men 
were sacrificed to them as deities and cakes dipped in the 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


blood of the victims were offered them to eat. As the 
invaders went on, they climbed gradually to a great pla- 
teau, the climate growing colder and the vegetation chang- 
ing from tropical to that of the temperate zone. They 
finally reached Tlascala, one of the important towns upon 
the plateau of Anahuac, more than seven thousand feet 
above the level of the sea. 

The Tlascalans were a powerful tribe and were enemies 
of Montezuma. Their stronghold was well fortified and 
the Aztecs had been unable to subdue them. When they 
heard of the approach of the strangers one chieftain ad- 
vised his people to admit them, as they were doubtless 
gods and it would do no good to resist them. Another 
chief thought, however, so long as there was any doubt 
about the matter, it was worth while to fight. The num- 
ber of the strangers was small and the men of Tlascala 
could not be defeated. This advice was taken and the 
warriors, some five thousand strong, went out to fight. 
The chief warriors wore quilted cotton doublets which 
protected the body, and some of the wealthier chiefs wore 
over this a sort of armor of thin gold or silver plate. 
Cloaks made of bright-colored feathers were often thrown 
over the armor, and a headpiece of wood or leather to 
represent the head of some wild animal protected the 
head and gave a fierce appearance to the wearer. The 
shields of the natives were frameworks of reeds or 


bamboo, covered with leather or quilted cotton and gayly 
decorated with feathers. They fought with slings, bows 
and arrows tipped with obsidian, lances with copper 
points, and wooden swords with sharp blades of obsidian 
inserted on both sides, making a dangerous weapon. The 
common people wore no armor and their bodies were 
painted with the colors of the chieftains that they 

For two days fierce fighting was carried on and many 
Indians were slain. One or two Spaniards were killed 
and several wounded. The deaths were carefully con- 
cealed from the enemy. A horse that was killed was 
taken by the Tlascalans as a trophy. Cortes was afraid 
this would destroy the fear and awe the natives felt for 
the horses and had two others that were killed secretly 
buried. The Indian allies the Spaniards had gathered on 
their journey were of great service to them. 

The Tlascalans now decided that the strangers were 
more than mortal but the chief who had advised war, 
after counsel with the soothsayers, suggested that as sun- 
gods, they might lose their strength at night and be 
more easily conquered. A night attack was planned but 
Cortes was not surprised. In the moonlight one of the 
sentinels saw the Indians stealthily creeping toward the 
camp. In a few moments the Spaniards were in arms. 
The battle-cry was sounded as they quickly ran down the 


hill to meet their foes. The Indians were so astounded 
that they fled, after one feeble volley of arrows, to their 

The next day a party of Tlascalans came to the Span- 
ish camp with presents from their chief, who, they said, 
was tired of war and wished the friendship of the Span- 
iards. Cortes received them kindly but their behavior 
made him suspicious and he finally arrested them as 
spies. They were sure that only gods could read men's 
thoughts and made a full confession. They were to 
watch things carefully and bring back a report. Some 
were to stay in camp and at a given signal set fire to it. 
Cortes waited until nightfall, then cut off the thumbs of 
the spies and sent them back to tell their chief that they 
would find the white man as strong by night as by day. 

It was clear that it was useless to oppose these chil- 
dren of the sun. The soothsayers who advised the night 
attack were sacrificed and the tribal council decided to 
make an alliance with these " wielders of thunder and 
lightning " against their old enemy, the Aztecs. The 
Aztecs were greatly alarmed by this alliance and were 
convinced that beings who could ->o easily defeat the 
Tlascalans must be more than human. 

From Tlascala, Cortes went on to Cholula, a strong 
pueblo belonging to the Aztecs. Here they were re- 
ceived with much friendliness and invited into the town. 


But secretly, and with the approval of Montezuma's 
emissaries, a plan was made for trapping the Spaniards. 
But with Cortes was a young Indian woman called 
Marina, from Tabasco, who not only understood the 
native languages but soon learned to speak Spanish. 
She was very fond of Cortes and aided him in every 
possible way. She had become the friend of one of the 
Cholulan women and this woman, wishing to save her 
new-found friend, hinted that danger was near. Marina 
told Cortes what she feared and together they discovered 
the whole plot. Cortes called the principal chiefs of 
Cholula together and told them that he intended to start 
next day for Tenochtitlan, and would like to have them 
furnish him a supply of food and a force of Cholulans to 
go with him. The chiefs were delighted with his plan, 
for they expected to surprise the Spaniards with a great 
force of men as they left the city and so destroy them. 
A large army of Mexicans was quartered a short distance 
from the city to assist the chiefs, and all sorts of obstruc- 
tions had been placed in the streets to confuse the depart- 
ing Spaniards. The natives thought the white men for 
once did not see everything. 

Several three-year-old babes were sacrificed that day by 
the Cholulans and the signs were favorable for success. 
The chiefs spent the night in arranging their plans for 
getting rid of the strangers, while Cortes saw that his 


cannon were placed in a suitable position for raking 
the streets. In the morning the warriors crowded the 
square where the Spaniards were quartered, and the chiefs 
felt so safe that thirty or more accepted an invitation to 
meet Cortes in private and receive his parting blessing. 
When they were gathered together Cortes told them that 
he knew of their plot. He also knew that all had not 
favored it and these he would spare. He had heard that 
Montezuma approved of it, but he would not believe 
so wise a chief could be guilty of such a thing, and he 
would spare his emissaries. Then the noise of artillery, 
never before heard in Cholula, startled the waiting crowd. 
The warriors in the courtyard were mowed down like 
grain before the sickle. Those who attempted to escape 
by scaling the walls afforded a still better mark for the 
musket. The cannon cleared the streets of all who 
attempted to assist their friends, and the Tlascalan war- 
riors who were camped outside the city rushed in to help 
in the slaughter. Hundreds were slain, including the 
head war chief. Some of the captured chiefs were burnt 
at the stake. Cortes found many victims caged for 
sacrifice. These he released and resumed his march. 

As the army went on its way toward Tenochtitlan, 
they were met by the chiefs of some of the towns they 
passed, asking for help against the tyranny of the Aztecs. 
One of the towns, Cuitlahuac, was built upon the cause- 


way leading across the Lake of Chalco and reminded 
them of Venice. " It was built over the water, with 
canals for streets. Its floating gardens and its houses 
glistening in their stucco of white gypsum delighted the 
eye of the Spaniards." Crossing the causeway they 
reached, on the 7th of November, 1519, a point from 
which they could see Tenochtitlan. Diaz, a Spaniard 
with the party, says : " And when we beheld so many 
cities and towns rising up from the water, and other 
populous places situated on terra firma, and that cause- 
way, straight as a level, which went into Mexico, we 
remained astonished, and said to one another that it 
appeared like the enchanted castles which they tell 
of in the book of Amadis, by reason of the great towers, 
temples, and edifices which there were in the water, and 
all of them work of masonry. Some of our soldiers asked 
if this that they saw was not a thing in a dream." 
\^ "The City of Mexico stood in a salt lake, and was 
approached by three causeways of solid masonry, each as 
the Spanish soldiers said, two lances in breadth, which 
might mean from twenty to thirty feet. Being from 
four to five miles in length, and assailable on both sides 
by the canoes of the city's defenders, they were very 
dangerous avenues for an enemy, whether advancing or 
retreating. Near the city these causeways were inter- 
rupted by wooden drawbridges. Then they were con- 


tinued into the city as main thoroughfares, and met in the 
great square where the temple stood. The city was also 
connected with the mainland by an aqueduct in solid 
masonry leading down from Chapultepec. The streets 
might have reminded one of Venice, in so far as some 
were canals alive with canoes, while others were dry 
footpaths paved with hard cement, and the footways often 
crossed the canals on bridges." 1 

The houses were built of stone, usually covered with a 
shining white stucco. They were large enough to afford 
living room for some two hundred families and were 
built about great courtyards. They were never more 
than two stories high and often only one. The flat roofs 
were sometimes covered w r ith flower-gardens and were 
protected by parapets of stone, so that each house was a 
fortress. " The windows were mere loop-holes, and they 
as well as the doorways were open. The entrance to the 
house could be barricaded, but doors had not been 
invented. It was customary to carve upon the jambs, on 
either side of the doorway, enormous serpents with 
gaping mouths." 1 

The partitions and ceilings of the houses were made of 
cedar and other fine woods. The rooms were decorated 
with tapestries made of the bright feathers of the many 
birds which were kept in an immense aviary for that pur- 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


pose. Cardinal birds, parrots, humming-birds, and others 
of brilliant plumage were carefully looked after, and during 
the moulting season the feathers were collected for this 
gorgeous feather- work. 

" Except a few small tables and stools, there was not 
much furniture. Palm-leaf mats piled on the hard 
cemented floor served as beds, and sometimes there were 
coverlets of cotton or feather- work. Resinous torches 
were used for lights. The principal meal of the day was 
served on low tables, the people sitting on mats or 
cushions in long rows around the sides of the room, with 
their backs against the wall. A lighted brazier stood in 
the middle, and before tasting the food each person threw 
a morsel into the brazier as an offering to the fire god. 
The commonest meat was the turkey." 1 

Loaves of bread were made of Indian corn and eggs, 
also little cakes baked on heated stones. The Aztecs had 
plenty of fresh fish and game. The meats were highly 
seasoned with tabasco and chile sauce. One Spaniard 
counted thirty dishes upon Montezuma's. table made of 
stewed meats thus seasoned. " One favorite mess was 
frog spawn and stewed ants peppered with chile; another 
was human flesh cooked in like manner. . . . These 
viands were kept hot by means of chafing dishes and were 
served on earthenware bowls or plates, . , . chocolate, 
1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


flavored with vanilla, was the ordinary beverage. Food 
was handled with the fingers, but bowls of water and 
towels were brought in at the end of the meal." 1 

The people were dressed in garments of fine cotton. 
The men had long cloaks and ample sashes often em- 
broidered with rich figures and edged with fringe. The 
women wore skirts with gay borders of embroidery 
and over them robes, reaching to the ankles. In cold 
weather robes of fur or of feather-work were worn. The 
faces were sometimes painted, and the teeth stained with 
cochineal. The hair was usually worn long. Bracelets 
and anklets were made of gold and silver, as well as rings 
for fingers, ears, and nose. These were worn by both 
men and women. 

There were no shops in this pueblo, but two great 
market-places, where all the trading was carried on. 
Every fifth day there was a fair and the city was crowded 
with people who came not only from the neighborhood 
but from leagues around. Here could be seen, displayed 
for trade, foods, cloths, and jewels ; tools, weapons, and 
building materials; mats and stools, dye-stuffs and 
pottery, drugs, and razors made of obsidian. People 
from the country around brought their product in canoes 
or upon litters, the only kind of wagon used. The ex- 
changes were made partly by barter and partly with the 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


currency of the country. This was bits of tin or copper 
shaped like the letter T, or little bags of cocoa seed, or 
quills filled with gold-dust. 

V Near the principal market and in the centre of the 
pueblo was the great enclosure of the temple. Within 
a stone wall eight feet in height and entered by four 
gateways, were not fewer than twenty teocallis or pyramids, 
the largest of which was that of the war god. This 
pyramid was about 100 feet high and was built in five 
stories. The top of it was reached by stone stairs on the 
outside. The Spaniards counted 114 steps. The first 
flight went up to a terrace or platform at the base of the 
second story. Then it was necessary to walk around the 
platform to the other side to reach the second flight, which 
led to the third story. This construction was continued 
so that one had to pass around the building four times to 
reach the top. When the religious processions with their 
many priests and musicians marched round and round to 
the summit, the sight was an imposing one. 

On the top was a broad platform paved with flat stones, 
and here was the large block of jasper where the human 
victim was laid for sacrifice. Here also were two towers 
in which the images of the gods were kept. Before each 
sanctuary stood an altar upon which burned an undying 
fire ; for if this fire should go out, great trouble would come 
to the Aztecs. " On these altars smoked fresh human 


hearts, of which the gods were fond, while other parts oi 
the body were prepared for the communal houses below. 
. . . The walls and floor of the great temple were clotted 
with blood and shreds of human flesh, and the smell was 
like that of a slaughter house." 1 

Early in November the white visitors entered this 
strange city and were politely received by Montezuma, 
not because he was glad to see them but because he could 
do nothing else. A great house near the temple was 
given them for their lodging. This house was large 
enough to hold the 450 Spaniards and 1000 or more of 
their Tlascalan allies. Cortes at once placed sentinels 
along the parapet and pat his cannon where they would 
be most effective. 

When Cortes had been in the city for nearly a week, 
studying it and its people, he began to feel very uneasy 
about his position. How long he would enjoy the friend- 
liness of Montezuma and his followers was uncertain. He 
finally decided to bring Montezuma to the Spanish quar- 
ters and keep him where he could control his actions. As 
long as Montezuma was with the Spaniards, his people 
would hardly dare to attack them. As in other places 
Cortes had entered, there were here two parties, one bitterly 
opposed to the strangers. The priests of the evil god 
(Tezcatlipoca) hated these friends of the good god (Quet 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


zalcoatl) and would do all they could to destroy them. 
Cortes had noticed that in other towns the capture of a 
few chiefs seemed to paralyze the people. This was doubt- 
less due to the fact that some religious rites were thought 
necessary that could not be performed without the help of 
the chief. With Montezuma in his charge he felt that 
the Spaniards would be reasonably safe from the dangers 
that surrounded them. 

Cortes now looked for an excuse for carrying out his 
plan. This was soon found. A few Spaniards had been 
left at Vera Cruz. In a quarrel with an Aztec chief sev- 
eral white men were killed, though the Spaniards were 
victorious. This was most unfortunate, as it was now 
known that the strangers were mortal. Cortes decided 
that this affair gave an excellent excuse for taking posses- 
sion of Montezuma' s person. With five of his bravest 
men, all clad in armor, and Marina, his interpreter, he 
visited Montezuma. Some thirty of the soldiers were to 
follow in groups of three or four, that they might not 
attract attention. The party was received with kindness 
by Montezuma. As soon as the soldiers were assembled, 
Cortes stated the object of his visit. Of course, he said, 
he did not think Montezuma was guilty of the murder of 
the men at Vera Cruz, but until the matter was settled, he 
would like to have him transfer his residence to the house 
occupied by the Spaniards. Montezuma protested but 


was forced to return with his visitors. He was paid 
every mark of respect and the tribal council was allowed 
to meet with him to do public business. Sometimes he 
was allowed to visit the temple but on such occasions a 
large body of armed Spaniards went with him. Cortes 
was now acting governor of Tenochtitlan and its allied 
towns/ with Montezuma as his mouthpiece. 

When the offending chief was brought up from the 
coast by Montezuma's order, Cortes had him, with several 
of his friends, burned in the public square before the Span- 
iards' house. A plan for the release of Montezuma was 
made by his brother (Cuitlazhuatzin) and the tribal chiefs 
of Tezcuco and Tlacopan, but Cortes discovered it and 
soon had the chiefs in prison. 

The custom of offering human sacrifices to their gods 
greatly shocked Cortes, " as men are wont to be shocked 
by any kind of wickedness with which they are unfamiliar." 
He took possession of one of the great pyramids, threw 
down the idols, cleansed the bloody altar, sprinkled it 
with holy water, then set up a crucifix and an image of 
the virgin. As the natives were still uncertain that this 
was not the desire of their sun god, they did not resent 
this action but watched with doubtful faces the service 
that followed. 

The long winter passed quietly and it was April when 
picture-writing sent up from the coast gave alarming 


news. Narvaez, with 18 ships, and not fewer than 1200 
soldiers, had been sent from Cuba by Velasquez, with 
orders to arrest Cortes. 

Cortes wasted no time. He left Pedro de Alvarado 
with 150 men to take charge of Montezuma and Mexico. 
With the remaining 300 men he hurried to the coast, sur- 
prised, defeated, and captured Narvaez, then persuaded 
the men to join his own army. With his increased force 
he marched back to Mexico. On his way he met messen- 
gers from Alvarado with bad news. In May the Aztecs 
celebrated a great festival in honor of their war god. They 
assembled in the court of the temple, near the Spanish 
quarters, in gala dress, to the number of 600. Alvarado, 
fearing they were planning an attack, surprised them in 
the midst of their dance and killed them all. Among 
them were many chiefs and the warriors belonged to 
families of note. The Aztecs were at once aroused and 
attacked the Spaniards with fury. Montezuma was com- 
pelled to go out upon the roof and quiet the outbreak. 
The Spaniards were besieged in their fortress and the 
brigantines built by Cortes to use in time of danger were 
Burned on the lake. 

When Cortes entered the city on the 24th of June, he 
found the streets deserted, the markets closed, and many 
of the drawbridges raised. But few Indians were to be 
seen. When he met Alvarado, Cortes told him that his 


conduct was that of a madman ; but it was now the turn 
of Cortes to make a mistake. Montezuma's brother, who 
stood next in line of succession, was the prisoner of Cortes, 
who did not understand the danger of letting him out. 
There was not food enough in the fortress for the larger 
army and Cortes sent this brother to order the mar- 
kets opened. Some say that Montezuma suggested this 
plan. This at once brought matters to a crisis. The 
brother called together the tribal council, which instantly 
deposed Montezuma and elected him in his place. 

Early next morning came the outbreak. From the 
parapet surrounding the enclosure, the Spaniards could 
see every avenue leading toward them black with the 
masses of warriors, while every pyramid and flat house 
top was swarming with the enemy. They attacked with 
arrows, slings, and javelins, and many Spaniards were 
killed or wounded. The Spanish cannon swept the 
streets with terrible effect but the Indians pressed on 
under the very muzzles of the guns. They shot burning 
arrows into the fort and some of the woodwork caught 
fire. The besieged had but little water with which to 
put out the flames and part of the wall was torn down 
to check the fire. The breach was protected by heavy 
guns and a constant fire was kept up through the open- 
ing. At Cortes' direction Montezuma appeared upon the 
parapet and tried to quiet the people but he found hia 


power was ended. Stones and darts were hurled at him ; 
he was struck down by a heavy stone and died a few 
days afterward. 

Before Montezuma's death and after several days' 
fighting, Cortes, with three hundred chosen men, made a 
sortie and after a terrific fight drove the enemy from 
the temple that overlooked the Spaniards' quarters. From 
this temple the enemy had sent such a volley of stones 
and arrows that the Spaniards could not for a moment 
leave their defences. Reaching the summit of the temple, 
the Spaniards hurled the idols among the people and 
burned the bloody shrines. 

It was the last day of June that Montezuma died and 
on the evening of the next day, fearing lest his army 
should be blockaded and starved, Cortes left the city. 
The Aztecs did not fight at night and the Spaniards 
hoped that the causeway might be crossed before their 
plan was discovered. All the treasure that had been 
collected was brought out and the soldiers were allowed 
to help themselves, after the share belonging to the crown 
had been placed in charge of careful officers. 

The night was cloudy and a drizzling rain was falling. 
The troops marched through quiet and deserted streets 
till they reached the great causeway leading to Tlacopan. 
Its three drawbridges had all been destroyed but the 
Spaniards had made a portable bridge which was placed 


across the breach. The Spaniards started across. Before 
they had all crossed this narrow passage the splashing 
of many oars was heard through the darkness. Then 
came a few stones and arrows, striking at random among 
the hurrying troops. They fell every moment faster and 
more furious and the lake seemed to be swarming with 
warriors. The Spaniards pushed on as rapidly as possible 
anxious to make their escape. When the natives climbed 
up the sides of the causeway and broke into then' ranks, 

the horsemen shook them off and rode over them, while 


the men on foot with their swords or the butts of their 
pieces drove them headlong into the water. When the 
head of the long column reached the second opening in 
the causeway, the rear had not yet crossed the first. 
Here a pause was necessary and the suffering from arrows 
of the enemy was intense. Repeated messages were sent 
to the rear for the portable bridge. When, finally, all had 
crossed, an attempt was made to lift the bridge to send 
it to the front, but it stuck fast to the sides of the dike 
and could not be raised. As this news was passed from 
man to man and its meaning understood, a cry of despair 
arose, which for a moment drowned all noise of the con- 
flict. All means of retreat were cut off. Order was at 
an end. Each thought only of his own life. Some suc- 
ceeded in swimming their horses across. Others failed 
and rolled headlong with their steeds into the lake. The 


infantry followed pell-mell, falling one upon the other, 
and frequently pierced by the shafts, or struck down by 
the war clubs of the Aztecs. The struggle was long and 
deadly. The warriors, running their canoes alongside, 
leaped upon the land and grappled the enemy until both 
rolled down the side of the causeway together. 

In time the opening in the causeway was filled with, 
the wreckage of the ammunition wagons, heavy guns, 
bales of rich stuffs, chests of gold, and bodies of men and 
horses. Over this dismal ruin a passage was formed and 
those in the rear passed over to the other side. Then all 
pressed forward to the last opening. It was wide and 
deep but not so thickly beset by the enemy. Cortes, who 
it is said had reached the place through the water, tried to 
encourage his men to pass. The cavaliers again set the 
example by plunging into the water. Horse and foot 
followed as they could, some swimming, others clinging 
to the manes and tails of the struggling animals. 
Cortes, with a few of his faithful friends, still kept 
in advance. As morning dawned the remnant of the 
army reached land. This terrible night has ever 
since been known in history as la noche triste, or 
the melancholy night. Cortes had started the evening 
before with 1250 Spaniards, 6000 Tlascalans, and 80 
horses. Next morning, after reaching land, he had 
500 Spaniards, 2000 Tlascalans, and 20 horses. All 


his cannon were sunk in the lake. Then Cortes sat 
down upon a rock and wept. 

But Cortes did not give up his purpose of taking 
Mexico. In a few days the Indians from that and neigh- 
boring pueblos attacked him, hoping to destroy his army, 
but he won a decided victory. This was fortunate, for 
the Tlascalans, almost persuaded by Aztec envoys, were 
talking of deserting Cortes. After this victory they de- 
cided to keep up their alliance with him. During the 
autumn Cortes had many encounters with the smaller 
pueblos, defeating those that resisted him and making 
alliances with the enemies of Tenochtitlan. " Cortes now 
found ships useful. Taking some of those that had come 
with Narvaez, he sent them to Hispaniola for horses, 
cannon, and soldiers. By Christmas eve he found himself 
at the head of a thoroughly equipped army of TOO infantry 
armed with pikes and crossbows, 118 arquebusiers, 86 
cavalry, a dozen cannon, and several thousand Indian 
allies." 1 

Starting at Christmas on his final march against the 
mighty pueblo, Cortes first went to Tezcuco. There had 
been quarrels among chiefs of the Aztec confederacy and 
the new war chief of Tezcuco, being offended with the 
pueblo across the lake, admitted Cortes into his town and 
entertained him hospitably. This move placed all the 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


warriors of Tezcuco at the command of Cortes and made 
it possible for him to build a new fleet of brigantines on 
the lake. Meanwhile, smallpox had carried off Cuitlaz- 
huatzin and his nephew was now " chief of men." He 
was a brave warrior and made a gallant defence of his 
city. " For ferocious courage the Aztecs were not sur- 
passed by any other Indians on the continent, and when 
Cortes at length began the siege of Mexico, April 28, 1521, 
the fighting that ensued was incessant and terrible. The 
fresh-water supply was soon cut off, and then slowly but 
surely the besiegers upon the three causeways and in the 
brigantines closed in upon their prey. Points of advan- 
tage were sometimes lost by the Aztecs through their 
excessive anxiety to capture Spaniards alive. Occasion- 
ally they succeeded, and then from the top of the great 
pyramid would resound the awful tones of the sacrificial 
drum made of serpent skins, a sound that could be heard 
in every quarter of this horrible city ; and the souls of the 
soldiers sickened as they saw their wretched comrades 
dragged up the long staircase, to be offered as sacrifices to 
Satan. ... At last resistance came to an end. Canals 
and footways were choked with corpses, and a great part 
of the city lay in ruins." * 

When the conquerors entered the city, their first work 
was to cleanse and rebuild. Mexico soon looked like a 

1 Fiske's " Discovery of America." 


Spanish town. Where the heathen temple had stood, a 
Gothic church was built. This was replaced in 1573 by 
the cathedral which still stands there. The palace of 
Cortes was built of hewn stone, and seven thousand cedar 
beams are said to have been used for the interior. 

Cortes also had a strong fortress built. When it was 
finished, he found himself in need of artillery and ammu- 
nition. His enemies in Spain prevented the sending of 
supplies, so he had cannon cast in his own foundries, 
made of the copper which was common in Mexico and of 
tin which came from more distant mines. With these 
and a few brought from the ships, he soon had the walls 
mounted with seventy pieces of ordnance. Stone balls 
were used for the cannon. Nitre for making powder was 
easily found and sulphur was brought from the crater of 
a volcano. 

To bring inhabitants to the city, Cortes made liberal 
grants of land and houses to the Spaniards. About two 
thousand Spanish families settled in the City of Mexico, 
besides three thousand native families. The natives were 
allowed to live under their own chiefs and given many 
privileges. Markets were established, displaying all the 
different products and manufactures of the surrounding 
country. Colonies were made in different parts of the 
country. A system of slavery was thought necessary to 
.secure workmen. The Tlascalans, in gratitude for their 


services, were not enslaved. In order to encourage agri- 
culture Cortes asked that all vessels coming over from 
Spain should bring seeds and plants. Under the sun of 
the tropics, the peach, the almond, the orange, the vine, 
and the olive, before unknown there, flourished in the 
gardens of the table-land. 

Cortes did not give up the idea of further discovery and 
conquest. It was very desirable that a strait should be 
found connecting the two oceans. He was fitting out a 
fleet on the Pacific coast to explore the shore of that great' 
sea, but, when nearly completed, it was burned in the 
dockyards. Cortez at once began to repair the loss. He 
writes to the emperor that another squadron will soon be 
got ready at the same port, and "he doubts not will put 
his Majesty in possession of more lands and kingdoms 
than the nation has ever heard of." Cortes wrote further 
to Charles Y, "Your Majesty may be assured, that, as I 
know how much you have at heart the discovery of this 
great secret of a strait, I shall postpone all interests and 
projects of my own, some of them of the highest moment, 
for the fulfilment of this great object." 

For this purpose a fleet was sent along the eastern coast 
under the command of Olid, one of Cortes' brave officers. 
He was to plant a colony on the northern coast of Hon- 
duras and explore the coast farther south. Hearing that 
Olid was acting too independently, Cortes sent a trusty 


Kinsman to arrest him. Not getting any news for a long 
time, Cortes left the City of Mexico in the hands of men 
chosen by him, marched south, and for nearly two years 
wandered through mountains and swamps, building 
bridges and suffering extreme hardships, till he reached 
the settlement and took charge of it. 

When Cortes left the City of Mexico, he had placed the 
management of his colonies in the hands of several men. 
Soon after his departure quarrels arose among those left 
in charge. Tidings were received that Cortes and his 
men had perished in the -swamps. This news was readily 
believed and after proclaiming his death and performing 
funeral ceremonies in his honor, the members of the gov- 
ernment took possession of his property and that of others 
engaged in the expedition. 

On arriving at the southern settlement, Cortes gave 
up all thought of further conquest and .soon embarked 
for home. He was delayed by storms and sickness and it 
was not until the 16th of May, 1526, that he reached San 
Juan de Ulloa. He hurried on to the capital ; his prog- 
ress was a triumphal procession amid public rejoicing. 
His entrance to the city was made in great state. It was 
nearly two years since Cortes had left Mexico and he 
was welcomed back as one who had risen from the dead. 

His triumph did not last long. In July he heard that 
his enemies had been busy at court and that he was to be 


removed from his office while an examination was made 
of his conduct of affairs. The bishop, Fonseca, who had 
been Columbus's enemy, had listened to the complaints of 
Velasquez and others who were envious of Cortes' success, 
and was doing all he could to disgrace him. Cortes was 
accused of secreting the treasures of Montezuma and of 
using for himself gold which belonged to the crown. The 
Mexicans, during the siege, had destroyed, buried, or 
thrown into the lake, everything possible, and the Span- 
iards were greatly disappointed upon entering the city to 
find so little of value left. Even then the discontented 
had hinted that Cortes had more than his share and their 
complaints soon reached his enemies at court. He was 
accused also of making false reports of the provinces he 
had conquered, so that he might defraud the government 
of its lawful revenues. He had given offices to his fa- 
vorites and had fortified the capital and his own palace 
so that he might at any time throw off his allegiance to 
Spain and declare himself an independent sovereign in 
New Spain. 

Before receiving a summons from the king requiring 
him to return, Cortes had decided to go to Spain to ask 
justice of the king. After a brief and prosperous voy- 
age he entered the little port of Valos in May, 1528. 
His return seemed to remove the prejudices against him 
he was shown great honors. 


With him Cortes had brought several Aztec and Tlasca- 
Jan chiefs, among them a son of Montezuma. He had also 
a large collection of plants and minerals, as specimens of 
the natural resources of the country, several wild ani- 
mals and birds of gaudy plumage, various fabrics of deli- 
cate workmanship, especially the gorgeous feather-work, 
and lastly a rich treasure of jewels, gold, and silver. 
After some delay he reached Toledo, where he was ad- 
mitted to an audience by the emperor. The emperor re- 
ceived him kindly and asked him many questions about 
the country he had conquered. He seemed pleased with 
the answers and consulted Cortes on the best mode of 
governing the new colonies. Several important changes 
were made according to Cortes' advice. 

In July, 1529, the emperor made Cortes Marquis of the 
Valley of Oaxaca and granted him a vast tract of land in 
the province, together with large estates in the City of 
Mexico. This grant was made because of his services to 
the crown and because it is " the duty of princes to honor 
and reward those who serve them well and loyally, in 
order that the memory of their great deeds should be per- 
petuated, and others be incited by their example to the 
performance of the like illustrious exploits." Though 
willing to show Cortes these honors the emperor refused 
to reinstate him as governor. He did, however, make 
him Captain General of New Spain and the South Sea, 


He encouraged him to make further discoveries and prom- 
ised him that he should be governor of any new countries 
that he might find. In the spring of 1530 Cortes em- 
barked for New Spain. With him he took his bride, the 
young and beautiful daughter of one of the nobles who 
had been his friend at court. To her he gave a beautiful 
jewel of five emeralds, of wonderful size and brilliancy, 
doubtless a part of the treasure of Montezuina that had 
escaped the wreck of "the melancholy night." For a while 
after reaching his estates he devoted himself to their cul- 
tivation, but this did not long content his restless and 
adventurous spirit. In the years 1532 and 1533 Cortes 
fitted out two squadrons that were sent on a voyage of 
discovery to the northwest. The peninsula of California 
was reached by one of these squadrons and a landing 
made on its southern point. In 1539 another expedition 
sent out by him went to the head of the Gulf of California, 
then doubling the peninsula, followed the coast as far north 
as the twenty-eighth or twenty-ninth degree of latitude. 

Cortes now decided to fit out another expedition for the 
purpose of seeking a country in the north, where it was 
said great gold-fields existed. But Mendoza, who at this 
time controlled affairs in New Spain, wanted the glory of 
this discovery for himself and objected to Cortes' plan. 
Cortes decided to go again to Spain for justice. In 1540, 
with his eight-year-old son and heir, Don Martin, he 


sailed for his native land. Reaching the capital, he found 
the emperor absent from the country. Although he was 
kindly received, nothing was done to right his wrongs. 
After waiting a year Cortes joined an expedition against 
Algiers. To his disgust nothing was accomplished in 
this attack upon the Corsairs. During a storm the ves- 
sel in which he and his son had embarked was wrecked 
and their lives were saved by swimming. At this time 
the valuable jewels he carried with him were lost, "a 
loss/' says an old writer, " that made the expedition fall 
more heavily on the Marquis of the Valley than on any 
other man in the kingdom except the emperor." 

After the expedition returned to Castile, Cortes lost no 
time in laying his case before the emperor. But the em- 
peror received him coldly. Cortes was growing old and 
was not likely to be of future service to the country. His 
undertakings, since his former visit, had been singularly 
unfortunate. Then Peru was returning so much more 
wealth from her gold mines than had as yet come from 
the mines of Mexico that his former successes did not 
seem so wonderful. In vain Cortes wrote to the emperor 
asking for attention to his suit. After three years of 
weary waiting he decided to return to Mexico. With his 
son he had gone as far as Seville when he fell ill of 
indigestion, caused, probably, by mental trouble. He 
sank rapidly, and on the 2d of December, 1547, he died. 



PONCE DE LEON came with Columbus on the latter's 
second voyage to America. He served as a soldier in 
Cuba and other parts of the West Indies and was deemed 
worthy to be put in charge of the conquest of Porto Rico. 
He had been many years among the beautiful islands 
of the West and was growing old. Rumors came to 
him of a marvellous land of wealth lying to the north, 
where gold and treasures were in plenty, a land of lakes 
and rivers, among whose glades was a spring fabled to 
possess the power of making an old man young again. 

In the year 1512 the king of Spain gave to Ponce de 
Leon the right " to proceed to discover and settle the 
Island of Bimini." This was a name given by the Ind- 
ians to a large tract of land which they said lay to the 
north of them, upon which the fountain of youth was to 
be found. Some trouble with the Indians in Porto Rico 
delayed Ponce de Leon for a time, and it was not until 
March, 1513, that he sailed from Porto Rico with three 
vessels in search of this land of promise. He first sailed 
among the groups of the Bahama Islands, searching for 




the Island of Bimini ; but not finding an island that ful- 
filled his hopes, he turned toward the northwest across 
the narrow seas separating him from a larger land. 
One Sunday, the 27th of March, 1513, he sighted an 
unknown, low-lying coast. It was covered with a heavy 
growth of rich foliage, and flowering vines, even at this 
early season, spread themselves over and among the 
trees, and the whole land was full of beauty and fra- 
grance. He happened to sight the land on Easter Sun- 
day, called in Spanish Pascua Florida, and named it 

Sailing slowly up the coast, on the 2d of April he 
landed (in latitude 30 B',Ja little above St. Augustine. 
As usual, he planted a 
cross and went through 
the ceremony of claiming 
all the land for his king, 
spreading the Spanish 
flag to the breeze and 
promising obedience. 

After this ceremony 
the vessels sailed south- 
ward. They followed ROUTE OF PONCE DE LEON 

the coast until the 20th of April, then landed. When 
the vessels tried to sail away again, they met with 
so strong a current that they could not go on and 



were forced to anchor. One of the vessels was driven 
out of sight. Landing as soon as possible, the Spaniards 
found the natives so unfriendly that they had to 
drive them away. Finally getting away from this 
point, they sailed around the southern part of Florida 
and along the western coast as far north as Tampa Bay 
and possibly farther. 

During this time Ponce de Leon made several trips 
inland. But on account of its flat and swampy char- 
acter the country was not easily surveyed. The thickets 
of woods and vines and the oozy marshlands made it 
hard to get about and there was no sign of cities or of 
a wealthy kingdom. The fabled spring did not appear at 
all. The people dwelling in this new country showed 
themselves fierce and unfriendly. In fact they were 
quite dangerous and the Spaniards had constantly to be 
on guard against them. 

It was September when Ponce de Leon again reached 
Porto Rico. It is said that while among the Bahamas 
he sent a ship under one of his captains and his pilot, 
who as a boy had sailed with Columbus, to look still 
further for Bimini ; and these people when they came 
back thought they had found the island but they did 
not find the fountain of youth. 

Ponce de Leon was so well pleased with his discovery 
that he soon after went to Spain to tell the king of the 



beaiitiful country he had found, and to get permission to 
conquer and settle it. His request was granted and he 
was appointed governor of the new colonies. After he 
had subdued the Caribs who were making trouble at 
that time, he was to take the vessels and men used 
in that service to help in the conquest and settlement 
of " the Island of Bimini and the Island of Florida." 
But the Carib war lasted much longer than was ex- 
pected and Ponce de Leon was kept busy for a number 


of years before he could prepare for his second visit to 
Florida. In the meantime several exploring trips had 
been made by various Spaniards along both the east and 
west coasts of Florida, and it had been found that 
Florida is not an island, but a large region of country 
which might contain in the interior the rich kingdoms of 


which, the Spaniards had heard. Cortes had lately dis- 
covered a rich empire in Mexico and Ponce De Leon, 
though getting quite old, thought he might still conquer 
such a kingdom and leave a great name. 

It was in February, 1521, that Ponce de Leon at last 
set out for his province. "He went prepared to settle, 
carrying clergymen for the colonists, friars to found 
Indian missions, and horses, cattle, sheep, and swine." 1 
After enduring severe storms, he landed again on the 
east coast and had himself proclaimed its master. But 
the fierce tribes had no disposition to acknowledge his 
authority. They attacked his company with such bold- 
ness and success that they killed many Spaniards and 
even wounded the governor himself. Discouraged by 
this hostility of the natives and suffering severely with 
his wound, the old man decided to abandon the attempt. 
He sailed back to Cuba where, sick and heartbroken, he 
soon afterward died. His son inherited his rights but 
made no attempt to take possession of them by conquer- 
ing Florida. 

1 Winsor's " Narrative and Critical History of America," Vol. II, p. 236. 



George Washington was born, in the year 1732, 
Jiis father, Augustine Washington, was living on a 
plantation near the Poto- 
mac River. Soon after this 
time the house in which 
the father lived was burnt 
and he moved with his 
family to another planta- 
tion, on the Rappahannock 
River, and here George 
Washington lived until he 
was eleven years old. 

In those days there were 
no large towns in Virginia. 
The people lived on great 
plantations along the rivers 
where boats could easily 
reach them, for travelling through the new country was 
very difficult except by water. The owners of these 

1 Authorities : Scudder's " George Washington ; " Irving's " Life of 






plantations grew tobacco, which was in great demand in 
England. The country was covered with trees which 
had to be cut down to make room for the tobacco fields. 
A traveller could tell when he was approaching a planta- 
tion by these clearings, or by the dead trees which had 
been girdled so that they might be cut away to clear 
ground for new fields. The fields were surrounded by tall 
rail fences which could be easily moved when the field 
was made larger. 

The house of the planter was usually a long two-story 
building with a broad veranda in front and a huge 
chimney built upon the outside at each end. The halls 
and rooms were large and were simply furnished. To 
keep the house cool in the summer the kitchen was built 
at some distance from it. The owner of the plantation 
was usually an Englishman who kept up in America 
as nearly as possible the customs of an English country 

Not far from the house one could see what looked like 
a small village. A great many people were needed to 
work the tobacco fields. The plants while growing had 
to be pruned once a week and a worm which ate the 
plant had to be picked from it. The planter found it 
very convenient to keep negro slaves to do the work 
of the plantation, and these slaves lived in the small huts 
near the master's house. 


As there were no markets where the planter could 
buy the things necessary to farm with and to provide 
for so large a household, each plantation furnished its 
own supplies. There were workshops where the negro 
carpenters, smiths, shoemakers, and tailors worked ; 
smoke-houses where meat was smoked and hams cured. 
Down by a brook would be found a spring-house where 
milk and butter and eggs were kept cool in buckets 
standing in running water. There were also large 
wooden buildings where the tobacco was hung upon 
poles to dry in the sun and air; and there were mills 
for grinding wheat and Indian corn, of which large 
fields were cultivated for the use of the family and the 
negro slaves. The good furniture, silver, china, wines, 
and clothing were brought over from England in the 
ships that carried back the tobacco in exchange. 

Although the owner of the plantation kept- an over- 
seer to look after the negroes and the work planned 
for them, he was by no means an idle man. He spent 
much of his time riding about his plantation seeing 
that the work was well done and what improvements 
could be made. Then his accounts must be looked after 
and that meant no light task in so large a household. 
His stock took much care, for he always had many 
fine horses in his stables and each planter was anxious 
to have the best. Good dogs were kept for the hunt, 


which not only was a favorite amusement, but added 
much to the household stores, for the woods abounded 
with deer and other game. 

Amid such surroundings George Washington lived 
much of his life. As a child he went to school to a 
man named Hobby, who was sexton of the parish church. 
Here he learned to read, write, and cipher. Among his 
playmates was a boy named Richard Henry Lee, who 
wrote to him when the boys were about nine years old: 

"Richard Henry Lee to George Washington: 
" Pa brought me two pretty books full of pictures he 
got them in Alexandria they have pictures of dogs and 
cats and tigers and elefants and ever so many pretty 
things cousin bids me send you one of them it has a 
picture of an elefent and a little Indian boy on his 
back like uncle jo's sam pa says if I learn my tasks 
good he will let uncle jo bring me to see you will you 
ask your ma to let you come to see me. 


" George Washington to Richard Henry Lee : 
" Dear Dickey, I thank you very much for the pretty 
picture-book you gave me. Sam asked me to show him 
the pictures and I showed him all the pictures in it; 
and I read to him how the tame elephant took care 
of the master's little boy, and put him on his back and 


would not let anybody touch his master's little son. I 
can read three or four pages sometimes without missing 
a word. Ma says I may go to see you, and stay all day 
with you next week if it be not rainy. She says I 
may ride my pony Hero if Uncle Ben will go with me 
and lead Hero. I have a little piece of poetry about 
the picture book you gave me, but I mustn't tell you 
who wrote the poetry. 

" G. W.'s compliments to K. H. L., 
And he likes his book full well, 
Henceforth will count him his friend, 
And hopes many happy days he may spend. 

" Your good friend, 


" I am going to get a whip top soon, and you may see 
it and whip it." 

" Richard Henry Lee's letter was probably sent just as 
it was written, but George Washington's letter looks as 
if it had been corrected by a careful mother or teacher, 
and copied before it -was sent." 1 

When George Washington was eleven years old his 
father died and he was left to his mother's care. She 
was a woman well able to care for herself and her chil- 
dren. Her son was like her in many ways. From her 

1 Sender's " George Washington." 


he got his high temper and from her he learned to con- 
trol it. She taught him many useful things and gave 
him many excellent rules to guide him ; but she herself, 
honest, high-spirited, and truthful, helped the boy more 
than the rules she gave him. 

There is a story told of George Washington's boy- 
hood that shows the character of both mother and son. 
The father had kept many fine horses. The mother 
was anxious to keep the stock pure and took much in- 
terest in their care. Among them were several colts 
that were not yet broken. One of them, a " sorrel," 
was thought to be very vicious. One morning George 
Washington, with several other boys, went out to the 
pasture to see these colts. Washington told the boys 
that he would ride the sorrel if they would help him 
to catch it. They soon surrounded the colt and suc- 
ceeded in getting the bit into its mouth. Washington 
mounted and away the angry animal went. It made 
every possible effort to throw its burden but the rider 
kept his seat, never once losing his control of the ani- 
mal nor of himself. Suddenly, as if determined to rid 
itself of its rider, the colt sprang into the air with a 
great bound. The effort broke a blood-vessel and it 
dropped dead. 

The boys were frightened and when at breakfast the 
mother, knowing that they had been in the field, began 


to ask after her stock, no one liked to speak. She 
repeated her question. " Have you seen my blooded 
colts in your rambles ? I hope they are well taken care 
of. My favorite, I am told, is as large as his sire." 

"The sorrel is dead, madam," said her son. "I 
killed him." Then he told all that had happened that 
morning. The mother, upon hearing the adventure, 
flushed with anger, but controlling herself, said quietly, 
66 It is well ; but while I regret the loss of my favorite, 
I rejoice in my son who always speaks the truth." * 

George Washington was a strong, active boy, fond of 
outdoor sports. He took an active part in the games 
that were common then, he pitched heavy bars, tossed 
quoits, ran, leaped, and wrestled. His playmates used 
to show- the place by the Rappahannock, near Fred- 
ericksburg, where he stood and threw a stone to the 
opposite bank. At the Natural Bridge in Virginia, they 
always tell that George Washington threw a stone to 
the top of the arch, which is two hundred feet high. 
One of the favorite games was war, for the boys heard 
much of the wars with France and of the fights with the 
Indians. As George Washington was a generous, fair- 
minded boy, he was often chosen leader in the sports. 
He formed a military company, which he drilled with 
care. From his brother, Lawrence, who had joined the 

1 Scudder's " George Washington. 11 


British army in the West Indies for a time, he learned 
much of military tactics and used his knowledge in 
training his comrades at school. 

This brother, Lawrence, had been sent to England to 
school when George was very young. When he came 
back George was seven or eight years old and learned 
many things from the big brother who had been to 

Soon after the father's death the elder brothers, Law- 
rence and Augustine, married. Lawrence took the estate 
upon the Potomac, left him by his father, and named it 
Mount Yernon for the Admiral Yernon under whom he 
had served in the wars in the West Indies. Augustine 
took the estate at Bridges Creek and here Washington 
spent some time in school, as the teacher was better 
than the one at home. His education was plain and 
practical. His manuscript school-books still exist and 
are models of neatness and accuracy. Before he was 
thirteen years of age, he had copied into a volume forms 
of all kinds of mercantile and legal papers, bills of ex- 
change, notes of hand, deeds, bonds, and the like. 

At Mount Yernon George Washington was always a 
welcome visitor. He admired his brother Lawrence and, 
doubtless, tried to imitate him in many ways. Here 
he heard much about the wars, for Lawrence Washing- 
ton had many of his soldier friends for guests, after he 


left the army. George decided that he would be a 
soldier. As he was too young for the army, being only 
fifteen, his brother got him a place in the navy as 
midshipman. When his luggage was packed and he 
was ready to board a man-of-war anchored in the 
Potomac, his mother decided that she could not let her 
boy go to sea. So the plan was given up and George 


went back to school for another year. He spent much 
of this year studying surveying. In a new country 
where the land is to be divided among the settlers, sur- 
veying is an important occupation. It requires exact- 
ness, a love of order, and much outdoor work, and 
George Washington found it very attractive. As it 
would be six years before he could come into the prop- 
erty left him by his father and managed by his mother, 


he was glad to have something to do that would bring 
him in money. So he studied geometry and trigonome- 
try; he made calculations and he surveyed all the 
fields about the schoolhouse, plotting them and setting 
down everything with great exactness. 

Near Mount Vernon lived William Fairfax, the father 
of Anne, the wife of Lawrence Washington. He was 
a man of education and wealth and fond of society. 
His house was more richly furnished than those of 
most of the Virginia planters. The floors were cov- 
ered with carpets and the rooms were lighted with wax 
candles. Servants in livery moved about to wait on the 
guests and Virginia ladies were fond of visiting there. 

George Washington, coming to visit his brother Law- 
rence, was often a guest there. He was fifteen years 
old when first thrown into this gay society. He was 
a reserved, shy, awkward schoolboy, but was so tall, 
large-limbed, and serious that he seemed much older 
than he really was. He took his place among the men 
in sports and hunting. The ladies all liked the tall, 
thoughtful boy. It may be that for guidance in this 
society Washington wrote out the " Rules of Civility 
and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation," 
found in one of his manuscript books. There are in 
all 110 rules. A few will show what was expected of 
boys in those days. 


" Every action in company ought to be with some 
sign of respect to those present. When you meet with 
one of greater quality than yourself, stop and retire, 
especially if it be at a door or any strait place, to give 
room to him to pass." 

66 Think before you speak ; pronounce not imperfectly 
nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and 

" Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust." 

" Make no show of taking great delight in your vict- 
uals, feed not with greediness, cut your bread with a 
knife; lean not on the table; neither find fault with 
what you eat." 

"Let your recreations be manful, not sinful." 

Here in Virginia George Washington met Lord Fairfax, 
who was sixty years old, and who had come out to rest 
in the wilderness after he had grown tired of the gay 
life in England. He liked the free out-of-door life and 
the excitement of the hunt. Between him and the tall, 
grave lad who rode and hunted so well, grew up a strong 

Neither Lord Fairfax- nor his cousin William knew 
the extent of the land each owned beyond the Blue 
Ridge. They decided to have it surveyed and gave the 
task to their young friend, George Washington. George 
Fairfax, the son of William Fairfax, was at the head 


of the expedition sent out. He was six years older 
than Washington but the two were warm friends. 

Just a month after George Washington's sixteenth 
birthday, in March, 1748, the two young men set out 
on their errand. On horseback they crossed the Blue 
Ridge by Ashby's Gap and entered the Shenandoah 
Valley. They followed the Shenandoah to its junction 
with the Potomac and then ascended that river and 
went some seventy miles up the South Branch, return- 
ing over the mountains. They had plenty of adventure. 
They camped out in the wildest storms, swam their 
horses over swollen streams, and shot deer and wild tur- 
keys which they cooked upon forked sticks held over 
the fire. Chips of wood were used for dishes. At 
one time their tent was blown down; at another they 
were driven out of it by smoke. One night the straw 
upon which Washington was sleeping caught fire and he 
was awakened by a companion just in time to escape a 
scorching. At one place the travellers saw a party of 
thirty Indians, who had been on the war-path, come in. 
"We had some liquor with us," Washington says, "of 
which we gave them a part. This elevating their spirits, 
put them in the humor of dancing." So they had a grand 
war-dance. Their music consisted of two pieces, a pot 
half full of water, over which a deerskin was stretched, 
and a gourd with some shot in it used as a rattle. 



*T~rny, ^ /^^^ 

^e ^-cc 

^ ^^7^ 

y^ ^f **" ~ * * ~f ^^ "X^' c 

5^. ^C^, ^, S 
<// '* 

x*zT ^7 




The work lasted more than a month. It was cold 
and stormy much of the time and the young Virginian 
felt many discomforts. But he was glad to earn his 
own living. He was paid according to the amount of 
work he did and sometimes earned as much as $20 
a day. His work was so well done that soon after 
his return the governor of Virginia made him public 
surveyor. This meant that his surveys were to be 
recorded and to stand as authority when lands were 
bought and sold. It was necessary that the work 
should be carefully done. People soon found that the 
young surveyor made no mistakes, and he had all the 
work he could do. 

For three years he carried on this work, spending 
much of his time in the wilderness where he became 
well acquainted with the rough life of the backwoods- 
men, and learned much of the habits of the Indians. 
During the winter months, when it was too cold 
to work out of doors, he visited his mother and 
friends or read the books of his friend, Lord Fairfax. 

While most of the English lived east of the Alle- 
ghany Mountains, a few had explored the land west of 
the mountains, had hunted and traded with the 
Indians along the valley of the Ohio River, and de- 
cided that it would be well for the English to possess 
the land and the friendship of the Indians. The 


French who lived along the St. Lawrence had made 
friends of the northern tribes and of those along the 
Mississippi, and had tried to gain the good-will of those 
tribes who lived along the Ohio. They claimed this 
country because they had explored the Mississippi and 
they said that all the land along this river and its 
tributaries belonged to them. The English said all the 
country between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic 
Ocean was theirs because they had conquered the Ind- 
ians that owned it, and these Indians had granted 
them the land upon the payment of 400. A number 
of men, among them Washington's two brothers, got a 
grant from the king, giving them the country along 
the Ohio and its tributaries for settlement and to 
carry on trade with the Indians. 

The French paid no attention to the claims of the 
British and took possession of the country in the name 
of their king. The English soon saw that they would 
have to settle the dispute by war and began to form 
companies and train men for service. Lawrence Wash- 
ington was not well enough to take an active part in 
the preparation for war, but through his influence his 
brother George was made military commander of one 
of the districts into which the colony was divided. 
His duty was to bring the men together and train 
them for service. He himself took lessons in the art 


of war from an old friend of his brother. He read 
books upon military tactics and took lessons in fencing 
from another friend, a Dutchman named Von Braam. 

The French, with their Indian allies, still claimed 
the valley of the Ohio and built a chain of forts from 
the Mississippi to Lake Erie. The governor of Vir- 
ginia decided to send a message to the commander of 
a French fort on Lake Erie, stating the English claim 
and asking the French to leave the country belonging 
to the English. The way to Lake Erie was a long 
and dangerous one and it was important that the man 
sent on this mission should be strong, brave, and 
skilled in woodcraft. It was decided that George 
Washington, though he was only twenty-one years 
old, was the most suitable person to send and the 
commission was given to him. 

Washington left Williamsburg on the thirteenth, day 
of October. He stopped at Fredericksburg for his friend, 
Von Braam, who was to act as his interpreter. Wash- 
ington knew no French, while his old master of fencing 
claimed to know it well, and it was not until later that 
Washington found that he knew neither French nor 
English very well. At Alexandria Washington laid 
in the necessary supplies for such a journey ; and at 
Winchester, on the frontier, he provided himself with 
horses and tents. At Wills Creek, now Cumberland, in 


Maryland, he was joined by Christopher Gist, an ex- 
perienced woodsman, an Indian interpreter, and four 
frontiersmen. On the 15th of November the party 
started for Logstown, an Indian village not far from 
the present site of Pittsburg. Here they met several 
Indian chiefs, who promised their friendship and gave 
an escort to the French fort. The weather was bad and 
they suffered many delays but finally reached the fort. 
Here Washington was politely received, and after some 
delay an answer was given him to return to the governor 
of Virginia, and his party started home. 

The horses had grown so weak with the hard journey 
and lack of food that they carried only the necessary sup- 
plies while Washington and his men walked. So slowly 
did they travel that Washington and Gist decided to go 
on alone across the country the shortest way to Virginia. 
An Indian guide who started with them fired upon them 
soon after they left the path. They pretended to think 
the firing was an accident but sent the Indian home 
that night. Fearing that he would rally his friends and 
pursue them, they walked all night and the next day, 
reaching the Ohio River at dark. Here they rested over 

They had expected to find the river frozen over but it 
was frozen only near the shore, while the centre was full 
of great blocks of floating ice. " There was no way of 


getting over/' says Washington in his journal, " but on a 
raft, which we set about, with but one poor hatchet, and 
finished just after sun-setting. This was a whole day's 
work ; we next got it launched, then went on board of it, 
and set off; but before we were halfway over, we were 
jammed in the ice in such a manner that we expected 
every moment our raft to sink and ourselves to perish. I 
put out my setting-pole to try to stop the raft, that the 
ice might pass by, when the rapidity of the stream threw 
it with so much violence against the pole that it jerked 
me out into ten feet of water ; but I fortunately saved my- 
self by catching hold of one of the raft-logs. Notwith- 
standing all our efforts, we could not get to either shore, 
but were obliged, as we were near an island, to quit our 
raft and to make it. The cold was so extremely severe 
that Mr. Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes 
frozen, and the water was shut up so hard that we found 
no difficulty in getting off the island on the ice in the 
morning." 1 

After crossing the river they were able to get horses 
and in due time reached Williamsburg. Washington's 
report of all that he had seen and done upon this diffi- 
cult journey pleased the governor and his friends. They 
felt that they had found a young man who was brave and 
who could be trusted. 

1 Sc udder's "George Washington." 


While on this journey Washington noticed that the best 
point for a fort was at the junction of the Monongahela 
River with the Ohio, and advised the governor to build it 
in order to hold the land against the French. The Ohio 
Company began a fort there, when the French came down 
the river with a force of about a thousand men, took 
possession, and, finishing it, called it Fort Duquesne. 
The force of the English, some three hundred men under 
Colonel Fry, with Washington as second in command, 
was, after many delays, started for the Ohio, Wash- 
ington, with a small body of men, went ahead to break 
the path. After crossing the mountains, he discovered a 
small body of the French. Fearing an ambuscade, he 
surprised them at a place called Great Meadows, and 
attacked them, killing the commander at the first fire. 
Ten of the French were killed, one wounded, and twenty- 
one captured. In a letter to his brother, Washington 
wrote, "I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me, there 
is something charming in the sound." When asked many 
years after if he had really said this, he replied, " If I said 
so, it was when I was young." 

Before advancing farther Washington built a palisaded 
fortress, called Fort Necessity, to make safe his retreat in 
case of defeat. By the death of Colonel Fry, Washington 
became commander of the whole force. He had been 
reenforced by a small company of artillery with nine 


swivels, which had been dragged with great difficulty 
over the rough roads. He advanced about thirteen miles 
from the fort, but hearing that a large French force was 
coming out to meet him, he retreated to Fort Necessity. 
Here he was attacked by the French and lost twelve men, 
while forty-one were wounded. The French loss was 
greater, but as their force was much larger, about four to 
one, and as the little garrison was almost without food, 
Washington was obliged to surrender. His troops were 
allowed to march out with the honors of war. They took 
with them everything but their artillery and made their 
way, in safety, home. Fort Necessity surrendered on the 
4th of July, 1754. 

After Washington's return to Virginia he gave up his 
commission and went to Mount Vernon, intending to put 
in his time looking after his plantation. His brother, 
Lawrence, meantime had died and had left him this estate. 
But the next year General Braddock was sent over from 
England with a large army to drive the French out of the 
Ohio Valley. 

The preparations for war were carried on actively in 
the neighborhood of Mount Vernon. Washington could 
3ee the ships and transports, carrying men and arms, 
going up and down the Potomac, and often rode over 
to Alexandria, where General Braddock had his head- 
quarters. Governor Dinwiddie told the general of 


Washington, of his good service, and his knowledge of 
the country, and Washington was invited to join the 
army as aide-de-camp. He accepted at once, as he was 
anxious to have the training in war under so experienced 
a commander. He was kindly received by General 
Braddock. He was surprised at the preparations that 
were being made to carry supplies through the moun- 
tains, and remembering the difficulties he met with his 
scanty stores and nine swivels, he said to General Brad- 
dock, "If our march is to be regulated by the slow 
movements of the train, it will be tedious, very tedious 
indeed." l But Braddock smiled at him, thinking the 
young provincial officer knew but little of the march 
of great armies. 

There were many delays before the army finally 
started. It was almost impossible to find wagons to 
carry the stores and the supplies promised by the 
governors of the colony were slow in coming in, so 
that Braddock complained bitterly of the provincials. 
Benjamin Franklin came from Philadelphia to see what 
ne could do to help and offered to get horses and wagons 
from the German farmers of Pennsylvania. He was 
asked to contract for 150 wagons, with four horses to 
each wagon, and 1500 saddle or pack horses for the 
service of his Majesty's forces. 

1 Sender's "George Washington." 


Benjamin Franklin writes of General Braddock : "In 
conversation with him one day he was giving me some 
account of his intended progress. < After taking Fort 
Duquesne I am to proceed to Niagara ; and having taken 
that, to Frontenac, if the season will allow time ; and 
I suppose it will, for Duquesne can hardly detain me 
above three or four days, and then I can see nothing 
that can obstruct my march to Niagara.' 

"Having before resolved in my mind," continues 
Franklin, " the long line his army must make in their 
march by a very narrow road to be cut for them through 
the woods and bushes, and also what I had heard of a 
former defeat of fifteen hundred French who invaded 
the Illinois country, I had conceived some doubts and 
some fears of the event of the campaign; but I ven- 
tured only to say : ' To be sure, sir, if you arrive well 
before Duquesne with these fine troops, so well provided 
with artillery, the fort, though completely fortified, and 
assisted with a very strong garrison, can probably make 
but a short resistance. The only danger I apprehend 
of obstruction to your march is from the ambuscades 
of the Indians, who, by constant practice, are dexterous 
in laying and executing them; and the slender line, 
nearly four miles long, which your army must make, 
may expose it to be attacked by surprise on its flanks, 
and to be cut like thread into several pieces, which, from 


the distance, cannot come up in time to support one 

" He smiled at my ignorance, and replied, ' These 
savages may indeed be a formidable enemy to raw 
American militia, but upon the king's regular and 
disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make 
an impression.' ' 

On the 19th of May the forces reached Fort Cumber- 
land. The two regiments of one thousand men from 
England had been increased by four hundred men from 
Maryland and Virginia, the troops of Virginia light- 
horse commanded by Captain Stewart, two companies 
of carpenters, thirty men each, with subalterns and cap- 
tains, a company of guides, a detachment of thirty sailors 
with their officers, and the remnants of two independent 
companies from New York, commanded by Captain Gates. 
The Indians who were to help them did not come. 

During the halt at Fort Cumberland, Washington was 
sent to Williamsburg to bring on 4000 for the mili- 
tary chest. After an absence of two weeks he returned, 
escorted from Winchester by eight men, "which eight 
men," he writes, " were two days assembling, but I be- 
lieve would not have been more than as many seconds 
dispersing, if I had been attacked." 

Braddock was disgusted with the provinces of Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia because they failed to furnish 


promptly the supplies, build the roads through the 
mountains, and furnish the horses, wagons, and baggage 
trains needed for his army. Several hundred Indians 
had also been promised as allies by Governor Dinwiddie, 
only about fifty of whom ever arrived. These finally 
deserted the camp because they were not consulted and 
employed in military affairs. Braddock tried to give 
the Virginia militia a strict military drill, but they were 
so slouchy-looking a set and so careless in manner that 
he had a poor opinion of them as soldiers. 

While the army was waiting for supplies and horses 
at Fort Cumberland, Washington had an opportunity 
to see strict military discipline practised. Each day 
the roll of the company was called, at morning, noon, 
and night, their arms inspected, and the drills executed. 
The morals of the camp were strictly upheld, drunken- 
ness and theft severely punished, and the chaplain led 
religious services every Sunday morning at the head of 
each regiment. 

Washington was chagrined at the stubbornness of 
Braddock and the inability of the general and his officers 
to adapt themselves to the hardships and necessities of 
a campaign in the wilderness. Braddock had travelled 
in a chariot as far as Fort Cumberland, attended by 
his staff and a body-guard of light-horse. Many of 
the best horses were employed by the officers as pack- 

GEORGE WASHINGTON (after a portrait by C. W. Peale the earliest known 
portrait of Washington) 


animals for their luxuries. Washington advised Brad- 
dock to leave all but the most necessary things and 
push forward rapidly. After leaving Fort Cumberland 
the army struggled along over rough mountain roads, 
dragging the heavy wagons arid cannon, till Braddock 
himself began to see the value of Washington's advice 
and consulted him as to the future march. 

Washington advised that the army be divided into 
two parts ; the choicest troops, equipped as lightly as 
possible, should move forward rapidly and capture Fort 
Duquesne before the French should receive reenforce- 
ments. The rest of the army, with the baggage train, 
could come up more slowly by easy marches. This was 
then decided upon. But the officers kept two hundred 
horses for their private baggage, while Washington, fol- 
lowing his own advice, " retained no more clothing and 
effects with him than would about half fill a portmanteau, 
and gave up his best steed as a packhorse, which he 
never heard of afterward." 

About this time the famous Indian fighter, Captain 
Jack, with his band of forest rangers, came into camp, 
" equipped with rifle, knife, hunting-shirts, leggings and 
moccasins, and looking almost like a band of Indians. 

" The captain asked an interview with the general, by 
whom it would seem he was not expected. Braddock 
received him in his tent in his usual stiff and stately 


manner. The ' black rifle ' spoke of himself and his 
followers as men inured to hardships, and accustomed to 
deal with Indians, who preferred stealth and stratagem to 
open warfare. He requested that his company should be 
employed as a reconnoitring party to beat up the Indians 
in their lurking-places and ambuscades. 

"Braddock, who had a sovereign contempt for the 
chivalry of the woods and despised their boasted strategy, 
replied to the hero of the Pennsylvania settlements in a 
manner to which he had not been accustomed. ' There 
was time enough/ he said, ' for making arrangements ; and 
he had experienced troops on whom he could completely 
rely for all purposes.' 

"Captain Jack withdrew, indignant at so haughty a 
reception, and informed his leathern-clad followers of his 
rebuff. They forthwith shouldered their rifles, turned 
their backs upon the camp, and, headed by the 
captain, departed in Indian file through the woods for 
the usual scene of their exploits where men knew their 
value." 1 

The first division of the army now pushed forward but 
while Braddock had adopted Washington's advice, he did 
not follow it vigorously. Washington said, " I found that, . 
instead of pushing on with vigor, without regarding a 
little rough road, they were halting to level every mole- 

1 Washington Irving's " Life of Washington." 


hill and to erect bridges over every brook, by which 
means we were four days in getting twelve miles/' 

About this time Washington was overtaken by a severe 
fever and headache and he became so ill that he had to 
be borne in a covered wagon. At last, on account of his 
serious condition, General Braddock required him to 
remain at one of the camping-places in the charge of a 
physician and with a sufficient guard. Permission was 
granted, however, that he should overtake the army 
before the attack on Fort Duquesne. 

With great toil and effort the army kept on the march 
over the mountain roads. Several stragglers and scouts 
were killed by the Indians. Deserted campfires of the 
French and Indians were passed. "In fact, it was 
the Indian boast that throughout this march of Braddock 
they saw him every day from the mountains and expected 
to be able to shoot down his soldiers like pigeons." 

For about ten days Washington remained in camp with 
his physician, when he was rejoiced by the arrival of a 
troop of a hundred men bringing provisions to Braddock' s 
advance army. Washington now felt strong enough to 
go with them, though he had still to be borne in a covered 
wagon. The party overtook Braddock on the 8th of 
July, about fifteen miles from Fort Duquesne. 

Braddock had planned to reach and attack the fort the 
next day. The line of march made it necessary to cross 


the Monongahela River twice at fords about five miles 
apart. Washington, though still weak from illness, 
mounted his horse and joined the general's staff. " As it 
was supposed the enemy would be on the watch for the 
crossing of the troops, it had been agreed that they should 
do it in the greatest order, with bayonets fixed, colors 
flying, and drums and fifes beating and playing. They 
accordingly made a gallant appearance as they forded the 
Monongahela, and wound along its banks and through 
the open forests, gleaming and glittering in morning 
sunshine, and stepping buoyantly to the ' Grenadiers' 

" Washington, with his keen and youthful relish for 
military affairs, was delighted with their perfect order and 
equipment, so different from the rough bush-fighters to 
which he had been accustomed. Roused to new life, he 
forgot his recent ailments, and broke forth in expressions 
of enjoyment and admiration, as he rode in company with 
his fellow aides-de-camp, Or me and Morris. Often, in 
after life, he used to speak of the effect upon him of the 
first sight of a well-disciplined European army, march- 
ing in high confidence and bright array, on the eve of a 

After making the second crossing the army was ar- 
ranged in line of march. Washington had suggested the 
day before that the Virginia rangers should be sent out 


to scour the country in advance ; but General Braddock 
had rejected the sensible advice. The road, about twelve 
feet wide, led over a level ground skirted by high grass and 
bushes, while scattering forest trees stood on both sides. 
A half mile from the river a wooded slope rose to a range 
of hills. 

The vanguard were pushing along this road and 
reached the slope of the hill, when they were suddenly 
attacked by the French and Indians in ambuscade. 
Irving says : " The van of the advance had indeed been 
taken by surprise. It was composed of two companies of 
carpenters or pioneers to cut the road, and two flank 
companies of grenadiers to protect them. Suddenly the 
engineer who preceded them to mark out the road gave 
the alarm, ' French and Indians ! ' A body of them was 
approaching rapidly, cheered on by a Frenchman in gayly 
fringed hunting-shirt, whose gorget showed him to be an 
officer. There was sharp firing on both sides at first. 
Several of the enemy fell, among them their leader ; but 
a murderous fire broke out among trees and a ravine on 
the right, and the woods resounded with unearthly whoops 
and yellings. The Indian rifle was at work, levelled by 
unseen hands. Most of the grenadiers and many of the 
pioneers were shot down. The survivors were driven in 
on the advance." 

Colonel Gage ordered his men to advanced with fixed 


bayonets up the hillside but the regulars refused to obey. 
They were frightened by the confusion and by the fearful 
yells of the savages. The soldiers fired at random wherever 
they saw a smoke, as they could not see the enemy. 

As soon as Braddock heard the firing in front he 
ordered Colonel Benton forward with the main body, eight 
hundred strong. As they were forming to face the ris- 
ing ground, the advance guard fell back upon them in 
disorder and spread confusion among them. Braddock 
came up and attempted to rally his men and get them 
into order ; the other officers also attempted to form the 
lines but the men could not be prevailed upon to obey 
orders. They fired at random, killing some of their own 
men in advance. 

The Virginia troops took to the woods in Indian 
fashion and did much to protect the regular troops. 
Washington urged Braddock to follow the same tactics 
and distribute his men in the woods ; but Braddock re- 
fused and stormed at his men as cowards for deserting 
the ranks and taking to the trees. The men were hud- 
dled together and offered so much better target for the 
enemy. The officers conducted themselves with great 
bravery. Washington was surprised to see them expose 
themselves to the utmost dangers in trying to rally the 
men or in dashing forward to the attack. Great num- 
bers of the officers were slain. 


Washington was kept very busy. Early in the battle 
the other aides, Orme and Morris, were wounded and dis- 
abled, so that Washington had to move all about the 
battle-ground carrying the general's orders. Two horses 
were killed under him and four bullets passed through 
his coat. The Indians were constantly directing their 
aim against officers and men on horseback. Washing- 
ton, as he rode about the field, was a striking figure, 
and it is remarkable that he was not struck by the 
bullets of these sharpshooters. "At one time he was 
sent to the main body to bring the artillery into action. 
All there was likewise in confusion; for the Indians 
had extended themselves along the ravine so as to 
flank the reserve and carry slaughter into the ranks. 
Sir Peter Halket had been shot down at the head of 
his regiment. The men who should have served the 
guns were paralyzed. Had they raked the ravines with 
grapeshot the day might have been saved. In his ardor 
Washington sprang from his horse, wheeled and pointed 
<i brass field piece with his own hand, and directed an 
effective discharge into the woods ; but neither his 
efforts nor example were of avail. The men could not 
be kept to the guns. 

" Braddock still remained in the centre of the field, 
in the desperate hope of retrieving the fortunes of the 
day. The Virginia rangers, who had been most efficient 


in covering his position, were nearly all killed or wounded. 
His secretary, Shirley, had fallen by his side. Many of 
his officers had been slain within his sight and many of 
his guard of Virginia light-horse. Five horses had been 
killed under him; still he kept his ground, vainly en- 
deavoring to check the flight of his men, or, at least, to 
effect their retreat in good order. At length a bullet 
passed through his right arm and lodged itself in his 
lungs. He fell from his horse but was caught by Cap- 
tain Stewart, of the Virginia guards, who, with the 
assistance of another American and a servant, placed 
him in a tumbrel. It was with much difficulty they 
got him out of the field in his despair he desired to 
be left there. 

"The rout now became complete. Baggage, stores, 
artillery, everything, was abandoned. The wagoners 
took each a horse out of his team and fled. The offi- 
cers were swept off with the men in this headlong flight. 
It was rendered more precipitate by the shouts and yells 
of the savages, numbers of whom rushed forth from their 
coverts and pursued the fugitives to the riverside, kill- 
ing several as they dashed across in tumultuous confu- 
sion. Fortunately for the latter, the victors gave up 
the pursuit in their eagerness to collect the spoil." 

What was -left of the army retreated across the river 
but even there no effective force could be collected. 


More than seven hundred men had been killed or 
wounded. Out of eighty-six officers twenty-six had 
been killed and thirty-six wounded. The Virginia 
troops had suffered most in the number lost. 

Washington was sent back to Dunbar's division, forty 
miles, to bring up provisions, hospital stores, and wagons, 
with two companies for guard. On July 13 Braddock 
and his wounded officers reached Great Meadows. That 
night Braddock died and was buried quietly, Washing- 
ton reading the funeral service over his grave. 

On the 17th Washington arrived with his wounded 
companions at Fort Cumberland. Fearing that his 
family might be in great anxiety about him, he wrote 
to his brother from Fort Cumberland. "As I have 
heard, since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial 
account of my death and dying speech, I take this 
early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of as- 
suring you that I have not composed the latter. But, 
by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have 
been protected beyond all human probability or expecta- 
tion ; for I had four bullets through my coat and two 
horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, though death 
was levelling my companions on every side of me ! 

" We have been most scandalously beaten by a trifling 
body of men, but fatigue and want of time prevent me 
from giving you any of the details until I have the 


happiness of seeing you at Mount Vernon, which I now 
most earnestly wisli for, since we are driven in thus 
far. A feeble state of health obliges me to halt here 
for two or three days to recover a little strength, that 
I may thereby be enabled to proceed homeward with 

more ease." 

Printed in the United States of America. 

' A HE following pages 

contain advertisements 

of a few of the Macmillan 

books on kindred subjects 

Methods in Elementary Education 






The Elements of General Method 

Based on the ideas of Herbart. New edition, revised and enlarged. Cloth. lamo 
331 pp. 90 cents (Postage 10 cents.) 

The Method of the Recitation 

New edition, revised and enlarged. Cloth, 12010. 339 pp. ^o cents (Postage ic 


Special Method in the Reading of Complete English 
Classics in the Common Schools 

Cloth, izmo. 254 pp. 75 cents (Postage 9 cents.) 

Special Method in Primary Reading and Oral Work with 

Cloth. i2mo. 198 pp. 60 cents (Postage 8 cents.) 

Special Method in Geography 

New edition, revised and enlarged. Cloth, tamo. 908 pp. 70 cents (Postage 

9 cents.) 

Special Method in History 

A complete outline of a course of study in history, for the grades below the high school. 
New edition, revised and enlarged. Cloth, tamo. 291 pp. 75 cents (Postage 

9 cents. ) 

Special Method in Elementary Science for the Common 

Cloth. I2mo. 285 pp. 75 cents (Postage 10 cents. J 

Special Method in Arithmetic 

Cloth. 121110. 200 pp. 70 cents 

Special Method in Language in the Eight Grades 

Cloth. 121110. 200 pp. 70 cents 

Type Studies from the Geography of the United States 
First Series 

Cloth. i2mo. 382 pp. 50 cents 

Excursions and Lessons in Home Geography 

Cloth, izmo. 1 84 pp. 50 cents 



A Short History of the United States 

For School Use 


Author of " A Student's History of the United States," etc. 

1 2 mo Half Leather 90 cents 

u It is an admirable presentation of the origin and growth of our nation. 
From cover to cover it is made intensely interesting, not only by striking 
illustrations and complete maps, but by the arrangement of the text and the 
facts presented in a clear, logical manner. The references to other text-books 
in history are a commendable feature. I fully agree with the author's state- 
ment in the preface as to the best method of studying the history of our 
country." N. G. KINGSLEY, Principal of Doyle Avenue Grammar School. 
Providence, R.I. 

From the Old World to the New 

How America was Found and Settled 

Cloth 1 2 mo With many Illustrations and Maps 50 cents 

The book is well equipped with maps and illustrations ; with reference 
lists at the end of each chapter, indicating further reading, suitable for chil- 
dren, and interesting to them; with the helps a busy teacher prizes word 
lists for preparatory work in connection with the reading, suggestions for 
written work and other "things to do." Outlines for composition work on 
various subjects selected from each chapter are a prominent feature of this 
portion of the work. 

History Reader 

For Elementary Schools* Arranged with Special 
Reference to Holidays 

Cloth i6mo Illustrated 60 cents 

"I am more than pleased with it. In my judgment it is by far the best of 
the books of its kind that has come to my notice. It shall be the very first 
to be put in our school for supplementary reading." F. A. BRACKET, Prin- 
cipal of Northeast School, Hartford, Conn.